08/29/12 — School district chooses its top teacher for 2012

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School district chooses its top teacher for 2012

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 29, 2012 1:46 PM

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Glenda Crocker, right, receives a hug and congratulations from Betty Gainey, left, after being named the 2012 Teacher of the Year for Wayne County Public Schools.

A first-grade teacher at Grantham School became Wayne County Public Schools' 2012-2013 Teacher of the Year at a banquet at Goldsboro Country Club Tuesday night.

Glenda Crocker is a 30-year veteran educator who has been at Grantham since 1990. A National Board Certified teacher, she had been the school's teacher of the year once before, in 1992.

Her journey to become an educator began after earning her bachelor's and master's degrees in religious education. It was when she became a coordinator with Greensboro Youth for Christ that proved to be a turning point in her life, said Olivia Pierce, executive director for information/technology services for the district, who introduced the finalists.

During the experience of working with young girls, Ms. Crocker found herself drawn to become a teacher, saying that when she first saw children walking into her classroom, "it felt right."

"You know how big of an honor this is to me," she said after the announcement was made. "I'm speechless and for a teacher to be speechless is something, isn't it?

"Thank you. I'm just looking forward to this year ahead and so happy I could be here tonight. I'm just beyond happy."

In her time at Grantham School, she has worked with K-2 staff to provide students an accelerated period of individualized instruction, presented professional development workshops, and secured more than $3,000 worth of Tri-County Bright Idea Grants, which helped fund educational initiatives for the school students.

She has also taught GED classes at Wayne Community College, has a certification in mentoring and volunteers with Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity and Boys & Girls Club in Mount Olive.

Grantham principal Lisa Tart had high praise for the educator.

"Ms. Crocker genuinely loves children and is passionate about her work," she said. "Each year, over 90 percent of her students reach and/or exceed their potential due to her instructional approach. Her dedication, genuine love of education, loyalty and positive impact truly set her apart."

As district representative, she will now advance to the regional competition. In addition, she will receive a $1,500 check and a $5,000 Kemp/Twiford Worldview travel/study award to be used to travel outside the United States.

The other two finalists also received a $4,000 travel/study stipend.

They were Sandra Brannan, a Norwayne Middle School language arts teacher, and Michael Jones, a social studies teacher at Spring Creek High School.