• 50°

New teachers encouraged to ‘dare to dream big’

Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year Nancy Goodnight challenged new teachers to dream big.  Jon C. Lakey/Salisbury Post

Teacher of the Year Nancy Goodnight challenged new teachers to dream big.
Jon C. Lakey/Salisbury Post

By Rebecca Rider

rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Fledgling teachers received a warm welcome to Rowan-Salisbury Schools Tuesday morning.

The annual new teacher breakfast, sponsored by the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, served as a community introduction to the approximately 75 teachers who will call Rowan-Salisbury Schools their home for the first time this year.

Chamber sponsors set up tables in the Wallace Educational Board Room, offering goodies and services to those who may be new to the area.

Sherry Wilson, PTS president at Carson, helped run a table on behalf of Community Relations with Carolinas Healthcare System.

“We want to make sure they have resources throughout the county,” Wilson said.

Many teachers were new to the area, and Wilson said she was there to help with everything from healthcare recommendations to the best beauty salon.

Other sponsors included BB&T, Thrivent Financial, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and Trinity Oaks.

Emily Huffman, with Rowan Helping Ministries, said that she was there to help spark ideas for projects.

“We have a lot of volunteer opportunities for youth,” she said.

Huffman also handed out information that could help teachers identify students and families who may be eligible to use the ministry’s services.

Sandy Ku has nine years of teaching under her belt, but it’s her first year in Rowan-Salisbury. Ku taught first grade in Cabarrus County, but this year she hopped the county line to teach at Granite Quarry Elementary. Ku said she moved because her family found the perfect house in Salisbury. But it also meant Ku had to move her classroom.

“I moved two households,” she joked.

Larry Richardson will be starting as a social studies teacher at Henderson Independent High School. He’s not new to the school, but it’s his first year teaching. Robinson worked as a secretary at the school for three years prior. But he’s ready to move on up.

“It’s exciting,” he said, “I’m ready to get started.”

New teachers have training this week, but Tuesday morning they got to take a break and listen to welcomes by Janet Spriggs with the Chamber of Commerce, Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody and the 2015 Teacher of the Year Nancy Goodnight.

Moody welcomed teachers and encouraged them to stay energized, have good execution and encourage diversity.

“You re-energize each of us,” she said.

But the theme of the day was that teachers can change the world.

“We know that you teachers change the lives of your students every day,” Spriggs said.

She quoted Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

It was a thread that Goodnight picked up as she talked about her feelings being named Teacher of the Year, and her recent experience in South Africa, where she learned about the country’s culture and education system.

“Ten years ago I was sitting right where you’re sitting today,” Goodnight said.

She said she remembered the challenges and advice given by the then-teacher of the year, and said she thought that if she followed that advice, she may one day end up as teacher of the year.

“You need to dare to dream big,” she said.

While visiting South Africa, Goodnight said she was blown away by the commitment she saw to education — the dedication of teachers, and the sacrifices parents made to ensure their child went to a good school.

“You can never underestimate the power you have to change a life that may change the world,” she said.

Goodnight recalled that while she was there, she stood on the same spot where Nelson Mandela cast his first vote in a free South Africa. She said she wondered if she could do something as important, as revolutionary. But then she realized that changing the world is something teachers do, every day.

“Your role is just as important because you have the power to change lives,” she said.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264,

Comments

Crime

Man faces charges in juvenile’s shooting on West Bank Street

Education

RSS gets clean audit, firm says no misappropriations of school funds

News

Rowan County recalibrates plans for Woodleaf Community Park after missing out on grant funding

News

NC NAACP elects first woman as president; Salisbury’s Black finishes third

Coronavirus

FDA OKs Pfizer vaccine for young kids

News

State news roundup: Davidson County parents charged in abuse of 6-week-old

Coronavirus

COVID spread down substantially in North Carolina, state data shows

Sports

ACC eyes new headquarters options outside Greensboro

Local

Rabid raccoon break-in forces Dan Nicholas Park staff to euthanize three animals

Business

Real estate agent takes advantage of hot High Rock Lake market, earns award for $10 million in transactions

High School

High school girls golf: Mustangs finish 4th in 3A state tournament

Local

Rowan Sheriff’s Office will hold fundraisers, grow beards to help Marsh family

Crime

Blotter: Four charged with contributing to neglect of minor

Business

Umami Downtown aims to bring bold flavors to Main Street

Education

RSS Board of Education discusses latest draft of school justice partnership

China Grove

Touting experience, Don Bringle looks to retain seat on China Grove Town Council

Crime

Jury selection begins in trial of man charged with killing father

High School

High school football: Freeman a surprise weapon for Hornets

News

North Carolina’s $25 reward helped boost COVID vaccinations

Education

RSS makes masks optional, plans to revisit decision in November

Elections

Rowan, Cabarrus, Stanly GOP host U.S. Senate forum in Gold Hill for registered Republicans only

Crime

Juvenile shot Saturday expected to make full recovery

Crime

Blotter: Homeless man jailed after throwing rocks through woman’s front door

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan County elections supervisor speaks out after debate to replace him