Edwards named DPS Teacher of the Year

May. 21, 2014 @ 08:51 PM

Alison Edwards, a fifth-year social studies teacher at The School for Creative Studies, has been named the Durham Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year for 2014.

Edwards learned about the award Wednesday night at the Washington-Duke Inn and Golf Course during a banquet to honor the Teacher of the Year, six finalists and Teacher of the Year nominees from all DPS schools.

 “[Alison] Edwards was chosen by her peers to represent her school, and we are proud for her to represent our entire district as well,” DPS Interim Superintendent Hugh Osteen said in a statement announcing the selection. “She is an accomplished teacher with a vision of success for every student. We’re excited for her to receive this recognition.”

Edwards received a $1,000 award and will represent DPS at the regional level of the North Carolina Burroughs Wellcome Fund Teacher of the Year program.

Edwards “is an excellent communicator who takes on leadership roles naturally,” said SCS principal Renee Price. “She is a mentor and inspiration to her students and fellow teachers.”

Five other finalists received $500 awards and were recognized at the banquet:

-- Major Coleman, Hillside High.

-- Sean Grier, Durham School of the Arts.

-- Daniel Miller, Jordan High.

-- Kingsley Onuelu, Burton Elementary.

-- Taylor Wall, Club Boulevard Elementary.

In her finalist portfolio, Edwards wrote that from her youth as a Riverside High student, camp counselor and community volunteer, through her volunteer work in college, she realized she wanted not only to be a teacher, but to help social studies students see how historical events were connected.

 “I found that patterns were not just for math class,” Edwards said. “As an educator I strive to develop students who do not just know facts and dates, but know how to communicate their opinions on a world event and back up their opinions with evidence.”

Before becoming a teacher, Edwards worked with Washington, D.C., youth as an AmeriCorps volunteer, and then coordinated a rigorous after-school and summer academic program for fifth- through eighth-graders.

She began teaching at Brogden Middle School in 2009 before joining The School for Creative Studies staff in 2013.

The 2014 DPS Teacher of the Year Awards Banquet was sponsored by Triangle Orthopaedic Associates and N.C. Specialty Hospital.