• 61°

Changing of the guard: New teacher, principal of the year announced

Excellent educators

Rowan-Salisbury School System Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody, center, poses with 2015 Teacher of the Year Anthony Johnson, left, from Isenburg Elementary School, and Principal of the Year Jamie Durant, right, from West Rowan High School. The awards were presented during the back to school conference held Tuesday at South Rowan High School. Jon C. Lakey/Salisbury Post

Rowan-Salisbury School System Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody, center, poses with 2016 Teacher of the Year Anthony Johnson, left, from Isenburg Elementary School, and Principal of the Year Jamie Durant, right, from West Rowan High School. The awards were presented during the back to school conference held Tuesday at South Rowan High School. Jon C. Lakey/Salisbury Post

By Rebecca Rider

rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

LANDIS — An early morning changing of the guard saw the installation of a new teacher and principal of the year.

At Tuesday’s Back to School conference, held at South Rowan High School, Anthony Johnson, a teacher at Isenberg Elementary, was named the 2016 Teacher of the Year, and Dr. Jamie Durant, principal of West Rowan High School, was named the 2016 Principal of the Year.

Last year’s winners were Dr. Latoya Dixon, former co-principal of Knox Middle School, and Nancy Goodnight, of Millbridge Elementary.

During the conference’s opening rally, Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody spoke briefly to the system’s nearly 1,500 teachers about finding the “sweet spot” of teaching — figuring out the perfect combination of factors that makes a learning experience extraordinary for students and teachers alike.

“It doesn’t happen all the time,” she said. “It doesn’t happen every day — but when it does, it’s compelling, and you’ll come back time after time.”

The teacher and principal of the year awards were presented by representatives from community partners Belk and Gerry Wood Honda.

Durant has been the principal at West Rowan for nine years and said he is “very honored” to be able to represent his school.

“I’m just an extension of the school and community I serve,” he said.

Durant said that when Moody arrived two years ago, it felt like she “issued a challenge” to administrators to make their schools, and the district, a better place. He felt that gave him an opportunity to “be transformational” and lead in a different way.

Anthony Johnson, a fourth- and fifth-grade science and social studies teacher at Isenberg, said he was “speechless” over the award.

“It just caught me by surprise,” he said.

His principal, Marvin Moore, said that Johnson “captivates” students.

“Anthony Johnson breaks the mold,” Moore said.

Johnson’s students work with robotics, and this year he said he put a maker space in his classroom, and his students have worked on projects publishing their own books or making music videos.

“He’s good, there’s no limit,” Moore said.

Johnson is married to Dr. Desiree Johnson, and has three daughters, Adanya, Kailah and Jessieca.

Johnson received a $1,000 stipend for his classroom from the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce and a free one-year lease on a vehicle from Gerry Wood Honda.

All certified staff attended the back-to-school conference. After the awarding of teacher and principal of the year, teachers broke off to attend learning sessions. Nearly 400 topics were available to teachers throughout the day.

District teachers of the year were:

• Kellie Haff, Bostian Elementary

• Bree Stillings, Jesse C. Carson High School

• Angela Ramey, China Grove Elementary

• Carl Muolo, China Grove Middle

• Lynn Bradley, Cleveland Elementary

• Jennifer Barbee, Corriher Lipe Middle

• Helen Graf, East Rowan High School

• Tiea Goodnight, Enochville Elementary

• Leslie Wright, Erwin Middle

• Dawn Young, Faith Elementary

• Pamela Steinauer, Granite Wuarry Elementary

• Sally Schultz, Hanford-Dole Elementary

• John Pfannes, Henderson Independent High School

• Jamie Piatt, Hurley Elementary

• Katie Gardner, Knollwood Elementary

• Amber Reinsvold, Knox Middle School

• Donna Girty, Koontz Elementary

• Richelle Bates, Landis Elementary

• Christina Grandt, Millbridge Elementary

• Wendy Eller, Morgan Elementary

• Kimberly Turnbull, Mount Ulla Elementary

• Kristina Sheets, North Rowan Elementary

• Cynthia Coleman, North Rowan High School

• Laura Ritchie, North Rowan Middle School

• Elizabeth Anderson, Overton Elementary

• Gina Ritchie, Rockwell Elementary

• Kevin Aycock, Rowan County Early College

• Carie Fugle, Salisbury High School

• Zachary McClary, Shive Elementary School

• Ashley Lanning, South Rowan High School

• Ashley Nelson, Southeast Middle School

• Tiffany Best, West Rowan High School

• Melinda Burns, West Rowan Middle School

• Michelle Hastings, Woodleaf Elementary

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.

Comments

News

Airplane makes emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham Airport

News

Race-blind redistricting? Democrats incredulous at GOP maps

Local

‘Stories behind these squares’: Town of Cleveland unveils country’s barn quilt mural, trail

Local

Mayoral candidates Alexander, Heggins discuss ‘Fame,’ protesting, pandemic

Education

Supporters of former Knox assistant principal speak up after resignation

Local

Volunteers focus on South Ellis Street for 11th annual BlockWork program

Education

Accounting firm to present annual school district audit report Monday

Lifestyle

Rowan Rockhounds Composite Youth Mountain Bike Team meetings set

Faith

Faith briefs: Barbecue fundraiser, harvest festival set for Nov. 6

Business

A hidden gem on Highway 29, Fusion Salon celebrates more than 15 years in business

Education

Walser honored by Smart Start Rowan

Lifestyle

Two of everything: Estate sale will raise money for cystic fibrosis

Lifestyle

Thanksgiving pie sale to raise funds for Meals on Wheels Rowan

Local

Salisbury council selects firm to assist in recruiting a new city manager

Business

Biz Roundup: Community job fair Thursday at West End Plaza

Nation/World

Deal on Biden’s $2T plan edges closer; Harris is ‘confident’

Nation/World

Film crew voiced complaints before fatal on-set shooting

Crime

Juvenile shot Saturday on West Bank Street, hospitalized

Local

City, Bell Tower Green Inc. sign agreement formally handing over maintenance responsibilities

High School

East holds off South for homecoming victory

Business

NC unemployment on 12-month streak of lower rates

High School

High school football: West comes up just short against Concord

Coronavirus

FDA says Pfizer COVID vaccine looks effective for young kids

Nation/World

Warrant: Baldwin didn’t know weapon contained live round