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WCPS to honor top staff at virtual celebration

On May 6, Wayne County Public Schools will hold a virtual celebration to honor the district’s 2021 Teacher of the Year, Assistant Principal, and Principal of the Year. With the first round of interviews complete, finalists for the Teacher of the Year, Assistant Principal and Principal of the Year programs have been named – one each from the elementary, middle, and high school level. They include:
 
Teacher of the Year – Finalists
Category
Name
School
Position
Elementary
Susan Long
Grantham Elementary
Kindergarten
Middle
Stephanie Gall
Brogden Middle
English/Language Arts
High
Patricia Velasco
Goldsboro High
Science
Assistant Principal of the Year - Finalists
Category
Name
School
Elementary
Christy G. Straughan-Haley
Grantham Elementary & Grantham Middle
Middle
Laura Kester
Norwayne Middle
High
Michael Jones
Southern Wayne High
Principal of the Year - Finalists
Category
Name
School
Elementary
Julie West
Northeast Elementary
Middle
Damesha Smith
Brogden Middle
High
Freda Allen
Wayne Early Middle College High
 
Teacher of the Year Finalists
Susan Long, has 14 years of education service and has served at Grantham Elementary since 2007. Stephanie Gall has four years of education service and has served at Brogden Middle since 2017. Patricia Velasco has 31 years education service, 15 with WCPS, and has served at Goldsboro High since 2006.
 
Assistant Principal of the Year Finalists
Christy G. Straughan-Haley has 28 years of education service, transitioning to school administration in 2013. Straughan-Haley has been the assistant principal of Grantham Elementary and Grantham Middle since August 2020. Laura Kester has 14 years of education service, transitioning to school administration in 2018. Kester has been an assistant principal at Norwayne Middle since 2018. Michael Jones has 17 years education service, transitioning to school administration in 2016. Jones holds a National Board Certification has been an assistant principal at Southern Wayne High since 2019. 
 
Principal of the Year Finalists
Julie West has 28 years of education service, transitioning to school administration in 2012. West has been principal of Northeast Elementary since 2016. Damesha Smith has 18 years of education service, transitioning to school administration in 2012. Smith has been principal of Brogden Middle since 2016. Freda Allen has 25 years of education service, transitioning to school administration in 2011. Allen holds a National Board Certification and has served as principal of Wayne Early/Middle College High since 2016.
 
The district’s 2021 Teacher of the Year, Assistant Principal of the Year and Principal of the Year will be announced at a virtual celebration on May 6 at 4 PM. The event will be streamed via the district’s WCPS Live youtube channel. The district’s Teacher of the Year program is part of the state and national Teacher of the Year program. Each candidate is first named a Teacher of the Year at their school. Like the Assistant Principal and Principal of the Year programs, a selection committee interviews each school’s candidate to determine the district finalists. A follow-up interview of each finalist will help determine who is named the WCPS Teacher of the Year.
 
The Principal of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year programs are facilitated through the district’s Human Resources Department and the Wayne County Principals and Assistant Principals Association (WCPAPA). Both the WCPS Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year will move on to a regional competition, which is the next stage of the state-level competitions.
 
Below is the complete list of each school-level Teacher of the Year selected to represent their school in the coming school year:
 

School

Teacher of the Year
Brogden Middle
Stephanie Gall
Brogden Primary
Stephanie Moody
Carver Elementary
Kelly Herring
Carver Heights Elementary
Brenda McClary
Charles B. Aycock High
Matthew Radford
Dillard Middle
Tondalayo Clark
Eastern Wayne Elementary
Andrea Wooten
Eastern Wayne High
Jonathan Pollock
Eastern Wayne Middle
Jennifer Fricks
Edgewood Community Developmental School
Cindy Sprouse 
Fremont Elementary
Camille Frederick
Goldsboro High
Patricia Velasco
Grantham Elementary
Susan Long
Grantham Middle
Kimberly Denning
Greenwood Middle
Robin Bryant
Meadow Lane Elementary
Leslie Mooring
Mount Olive Middle
Donald Selah
North Drive Elementary
Apryl Ransom
Northeast Elementary
Stephanie Washburn
Northwest Elementary
Jennifer Tingen
Norwayne Middle
Anna Jarrett
Rosewood Elementary
Brittany Ingram
Rosewood High
Tonya Sittig
Rosewood Middle
Ashley Sparks
Southern Wayne High
Jason Cox
Spring Creek Elementary
Amber Duke
Spring Creek High
Denise Williams
Spring Creek Middle
Carl Whittington
Tommy’s Road Elementary
Kimberly Court 
Wayne Early/Middle College High
Elizabeth Breedlove
Wayne Middle/High Academy
Sheneka Lassiter 
Wayne School of Engineering
Katherine Hobbs

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