Fifty LCPS educators are included in an exclusive list of elementary and middle schools teachers statewide whose classes ranked in the top 25 percent for student academic growth in end-of-grade testing last spring.
One of them, fourth-grade teacher Amy Burke of La Grange Elementary School, scored the honor in both reading and math and was the 11th highest achiever of the 1,124 teachers recognized for growth in fourth-grade reading.
The calculation of growth is a value-added rating designed to determine how much student progress on accountability testing from one year to the next can be credited to the teacher. Student proficiency on the state tests is a simpler gauge of success but not as fair in judging teacher impact, since it does not consider the advantages or disadvantages a student brings to the classroom.
Burke feels students show growth when teachers show they care. “I believe the secret of success in creating academic growth for students begins with making personal connections with them,” she said. “Students will work hard for you and put forth their best effort every day if they feel like you genuinely care for them and have their best interest at heart.”
Banks Elementary School teacher Christy Eubanks ranked 25th in third-grade reading growth among the 1,366 teachers in the top 25 percent statewide. Nicolette Morgan of Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School posted laudable growth numbers in sixth, seventh and eighth grade math.
LCPS elementary and middle school teachers on the statewide honor roll by category were:
Third-grade reading: Christy Eubanks, Banks; Jaime Moore, Georgia Tingen and Lisa Horner, La Grange Elementary; Elizabeth Thompson, Marenda Everett, Rachel Wightman-Braswell and Rebecca Gunn, Moss Hill Elementary; Keisha White, Northeast Elementary; Mary Allison Whitfield, Pink Hill Elementary; Danielle Davenport, Southwood Elementary; and Amanda Price, Contentnea-Savannah K-8.
Fourth-grade reading: Amy Burke, La Grange; Caren McCarter and Emily Sobul, Banks; Gwendolyn Wade, Contentnea-Savannah; Kayla Harris and Donna Casad, Moss Hill; Jami Finch and Brenda Griffin, Pink Hill; and Caroline Murphrey and Kathryn Suddreth, Southwood.
Fourth-grade math: Amy Burke and Deidre Sasser, La Grange; Hillary Lee and Kathryn Suddreth, Southwood; Alicia Stanley, Northeast; and Walter Upthegrove, Pink Hill.
Fifth-grade reading: Andrea Whitfield, Southeast; Dawn Hill, Banks; Kristian Dawson-Chadwick, Contentnea-Savannah; Konya Houston, Northeast; Judy Harrison, La Grange; and Katelyn Ball, Pink Hill.
Fifth-grade math: Christel Perry, La Grange; Sheila West, Northwest; Jerry Clyde, Northeast; Cecilia Roberson, Southeast; Amy White, Contentnea-Savannah; Leigh Ann Hall, Pink Hill; and Kimberly Smith, Banks.
Sixth-grade math: Nicolette Morgan, Contentnea-Savannah.
Seventh-grade math: Nicolette Morgan, Contentnea-Savannah; and Felicia Brown and Deborah Anderson, Rochelle Middle.
Eighth-grade math: Teedra Brown and Jawad Wahabzada, Rochelle Middle; Paula Boldt and James Frost, Frink Middle; Dean Neff and Nicolette Morgan, Contentnea-Savannah; and Kelly Dawson and Kellie Wolfe, Woodington Middle.
Teachers whose classes showed growth in the top 25 percent in the state, in the school district or both were eligible for bonuses. Four teachers who were outside the 25-percent range for the state were recognized on the district level for academic growth. About 6,900 teachers qualified for state and/or district bonuses, according to the state Department of Public Instruction.
About 1,900 high school teachers qualified for bonuses based on students’ readiness for career or college. Teachers in Career and Technical Education courses are recognized based on the number of students who receive industry certifications or credentials. High student test scores earn recognition for teachers of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses.
CTE teachers recognized were: Kim Hipkiss, Guenevere Boney, Sam Fisher and Lois Sutton, all North Lenoir High School; and Gina Cousins, Kinston High School.
Advanced Placement teachers recognized were: Victoria Newberry, Reggie Dawson, Nineva Jefferson, Raymond Lee Holder, Rebecca Hawkins, Heather Kennedy and Alexis Talardo, all North Lenoir; and Ryan Gardner, South Lenoir.
International Baccalaureate teachers recognized were: Sandra Baker, Keith Neal, Treva Romig and Matthew Raines, all Kinston High.