Three instructional assistants with Wayne County Public Schools have been selected as finalists in the running for the distinction of being 2017 Instructional Assistant of the Year.
The district program, modeled after the Teacher of the Year, highlights the top instructional assistants across the county. Each school selects a representative for the coming year.
Candidates submit a professional portfolio and go through an interview with a selection committee.
The field is then narrowed down to three finalists.
The Instructional Assistant of the Year for the district will be announced at a reception at the WPCS administrative offices on May 2 at 2:30 p.m.
The three finalists are Sarah Robinson of Eastern Wayne elementary and middle schools, Susie Chase of Charles B. Aycock High School and Barbara Lofton of Spring Creek High School.
Ms. Robinson is a media assistant who has been employed by the district for 17 years. She has worked at Eastern Wayne Middle for the past four years.
"Sarah Robinson is one of the hardest working individuals I know," said Catherine Fulcher, Eastern Wayne Middle principal. "In addition to her shared media assistant duties, she is one of our curriculum enhancement teachers, where she instructs, remediates and enhances in the learning of her students each day in the area of mathematics.
"Each school needs a Sarah Robinson."
Mrs. Chase has been at her school for more than 14 years.
CBA principal Dr. Earl Moore applauded her dedication to serving special needs students.
"She uses innovative and creative methods to make learning applicable to students' everyday life," he said. "Her students revere and respect her.
"Mrs. Chase is the type of instructional assistant that every principal would want to have in his or her school."
Ms. Lofton has 12 years of service in the district. She has been at Spring Creek since 2010.
"Ms. Lofton is very dependable and does an admirable job with the special needs students enrolled in our Occupational Course of Study program," said her principal, Stephen Clingan. "She has a great demeanor toward our students and directly impacts the quality of their education in her role."
Other individual instructional assistants and their respective schools include the following:
Brogden Middle: Makita Brown-Jones
Brogden Primary: Michelle Vinson
Carver Elementary: Charlette Purnell
Carver Heights Elementary: Cherry Townsend
Dillard Middle: Geraldine Miller
Eastern Wayne Elementary: Debbie Denton
Eastern Wayne High: Scott Summers
Edgewood Community Developmental School: Elizabeth Dunn
Fremont STARS Elementary: Shirley Staton
Grantham Elementary: Holly Denning
Grantham Middle: Sonya Thomas Wingate
Greenwood Middle: Diwanda Hutchins
Meadow Lane Elementary: David Williams
Mount Olive Middle: Tammy Farrior
North Drive Elementary: Terry Smith
Northeast Elementary: Barbara Smith
Northwest Elementary: Cecilia Prezbindowski
Norwayne Middle: Olisha White
Rosewood Elementary: Dana Gurley
Rosewood High: Carmellas Yelverton
Rosewood Middle: Angie Bridgers
School Street Early Learning Center: Hannah Edwards
Southern Wayne High: Matilda Gardner
Spring Creek Elementary: Terrie Taylor
Tommy's Road Elementary: Ashley Presson
Wayne Middle/High Academy: Louise Cox.