New Teacher, Principal of the Year named for Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 23, 2017

LANDIS — A new school year means freshly sharpened pencils, new book bags, a new classroom and, for Rowan-Salisbury Schools, a new Teacher and Principal of the Year.

The honors were awarded Tuesday morning at the district’s Back to School Conference for teachers, held at South Rowan High School.

Abby Covington, a fourth-grade teacher at Millbridge Elementary, was named the 2017 Teacher of the Year. Angelo DelliSanti, principal of Carson High School, was named 2017 Principal of the Year.

Covington received a car on loan from Gerry Wood Honda in Salisbury to use for the next school year, as well as a $1,000 stipend for her classroom. DelliSanti received a $500 gift card for Belk.

Anthony Johnson, the 2016 Teacher of the Year and Regional Teacher of the Year, crowned Covington and relinquished his title to her. During brief remarks, Covington said she plans to be a “champion for public schools.”

“I believe in public school in the very core of who I am,” she said.

Covington is a Rowan County native and graduated from West Rowan High School. She attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for her bachelor’s degree and earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at Catawba College. She has been a teacher at Millbridge Elementary for 11 years.

When asked how she felt being chosen as Teacher of the Year, Covington said she was humbled.

“I am so excited and so surprised because I really feel like I’m in a room full of people who are so deserving,” she said.

Covington said she’s been a finalist for Millbridge’s Teacher of the Year three times in the past but never made the cut until now. This year, she said she decided to “say what’s on my heart, because I don’t have a chance.”

It proved to be a good move, however, and her passion for public education made her Millbridge’s teacher of the year and won her the district honor. A Teacher of the Year is someone who is able to communicate and verbalize, not only with their students, but also with the district administrators and noneducators, she said.

Above all, Covington said she loves her job.

“There are so many things that are great as a teacher,” she said. “It’s fun every day; it’s never boring.”

In the upcoming year, Covington said she plans to use her title to advocate for public education.

“This is the heart of what our world needs is public education,” she said.

DelliSanti has been principal at Carson High School for three years. He said he is honored to be named Principal of the Year.

“It was very humbling and undeserving,” he said.

Before joining Carson, he served as an assistant principal at Mooresville Middle School and taught for five years at A.L. Brown High School.

At Carson, DelliSanti said teachers have a culture of putting students first — something he wants to continue in the upcoming school year.

“I hope it’s more of the same,” he said.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.