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District math honor goes to Early College's McGinnis

To her National Board certification and her impending master’s degree, Belinda McGinnis can now add the honor of being the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM) Outstanding Secondary  Mathematics Teacher for 2020-2021 for Lenoir County Public Schools.

 Woman leans on wooden railing, posing in front of sign: Lenoir County Early College High School.McGinnis, who has taught at Lenoir County Early College since 2010, will be recognized for the award by the NCCTM when it meets for its November conference in Winston-Salem.

Each public school district in the state is given the opportunity to send a local winner to the conference. Secondary teachers were not able to be recognized at the 2021 NCCTM Conference because the conference was not in person. 

“I’m excited, honored and humbled,” McGinnis said of her selection.

As a teacher, she is known for working to impart a deeper understanding of math to her students and working to keep her classes active and interesting. 

“They spend a lot of time in groups talking through the math,” McGinnis said of her students. “I do a lot of hands-on stuff. I do a lot of digital activities with them.”

The digital activities are no surprise since McGinnis is also Early College’s digital learning specialist, the faculty member who helps her colleagues make the best use of the iPads and other Apple devices pervasive in LCPS classrooms.

Amy Jones, the district’s director of high school education, praised McGinnis as a “leader both in and out of the classroom.”

“She generously shares her time and talents with others in order to improve math instruction and digital learning integration not only in her school but also with the entire district,” Jones said. “Ms. McGinnis’s skills and expertise make her an invaluable resource for the teaching staff at the Early College. She delivers formal professional development as well as ‘just-in-time’ one-on-one sessions with teachers to help advance their pedagogical skills. Our district theme for improvement is ‘Leveling Up’ learning for all and Ms. McGinnis does just that on a daily basis.”

A native of Laurinburg, McGinnis earned a bachelor of science degree in math education from UNC-Pembroke and taught for two years at Carver High School in Winston-Salem before coming to Lenoir County Early College High School. She is on track to receive her master’s degree from East Carolina University in May.

She became a math teacher, she said, because she enjoyed math as a student – “solving problems, seeing how things connect, the logic of it.” And Early College, because its small classes allow for strong connections between teacher and student, seems to her the ideal place to do what she enjoys.

“You really get to know the kids and what they need,” McGinnis said. “They’ll have to take me away from here kicking and screaming.”

Photo caption:

Belinda McGinnis of Lenoir County Early College High School is the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM) Outstanding Secondary  Mathematics Teacher for 2020-2021 for Lenoir County Public Schools. She will be recognized by the NCCTM at its annual conference in November.