Return to Headlines

EC Department taps KHS teacher, Banks TA for top honors

Two women known for their devotion to the students in their Exceptional Children’s classes were honored Tuesday with the top annual awards presented by the LCPS Exceptional Children’s Department.

 Six people -- 2 men and four women -- line up for photo with African American woman holding award.Diannia Bright of Kinston High School was named 2021-2022 EC Teacher of the Year and Elaine Harper of Banks Elementary School was named 2021-2022 EC Teacher Assistant of the Year.

Both accepted their awards from Superintendent Brent Williams during the EC Department’s opening day gathering, before an audience of the department’s entire school-based and district staff, district administrators and their school principals.

Bright started with LCPS in 2004 as a substitute teacher and the next year went to work as an EC teacher at Kinston High. She had worked previously at Caswell Center.

In announcing the award, EC Director Julie Hill said Bright “engages students with humor, creative lessons and a strong classroom presence.”

Kinston High principal Kellan Bryant praised both Bright’s teaching skills and her commitment. “Diannia Bright is an excellent teacher and integrates life skills in her lessons for the students she serves. She is a strong advocate for her students and leads with her heart,” Bryant said. “We are very proud of Mrs. Bright for receiving this wonderful honor.”

 Six people -- 2 men and four women -- line up for photo with African American woman holding award.Harper has been an EC teacher assistant and bus driver at Banks Elementary since joining the district in 2014.

“You never see her without a smile on her face,” Hill said. “Her quiet demeanor and kind spirit endear her to all her students. She has a passion for helping students and her peers.”

As a bus driver, Harper has been a trophy winner in the district’s annual Road-E-O competition that tests bus driving skills over an obstacle course.

“Elaine Harper is an outstanding instructional assistant and bus driver. She always displays a positive attitude and always has a smile to share with others,” Banks principal Jan Tucker said. “Her genuine love for her students and passion for helping them succeed is seen each and every day. We are very proud of Ms. Harper; she is truly one of Banks’ Best!”

Photo captions (from top):

2021-2022 EC Teacher of the Year Diannia Bright, second from left, with, from left, Kinston High principal Kellan Bryant, Superintendent Brent Williams, Assistant Superintendent Nicholas Harvey II, EC Director Julie Hill and Associate Superintendent Frances Herring.

2021-2022 EC Teacher Assistant of the Year Elaine Harper, second from left, with, from left, Banks Elementary principal Jan Tucker, Superintendent Brent Williams, EC Director Julie Hill, Assistant Superintendent Nicholas Harvey II and Associate Superintendent Frances Herring