Rowan-Salisbury Schools names Teacher and Principal of the Year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 22, 2018

GRANITE QUARRY — The 2018-19 Teacher and Principal of the Year accepted their awards with tears and gratitude Tuesday.

This year’s Teacher of the Year is Zachary Overcash, a math teacher at Carson High School. The Principal of the Year is Kelly Withers of South Rowan High School.

The winners were named at the Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ Back to School Conference held Tuesday at East Rowan High School. Abby Covington, the 2017-18 Teacher of the Year, opened the awards ceremony by thanking her fellow educators for the opportunity to represent and serve Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

“This year has been a whirlwind of excitement and opportunity,” she said.

Awards were presented by local partners Belk and Gerry Wood Honda.

Overcash said he was surprised and excited to be selected Teacher of the Year. Overcash, who teaches freshman math at Carson High, said he always tries to make his lessons fun and unique.

“It’s a little different when you walk in the door,” he said of his class. “A lot of kids walk in with a negative view of math, and I try to change their minds 45 minutes at a time.”

Overcash uses rap, hands-on activities and games like “Bungee Barbie” to help students fall in love with an oft-maligned subject.

Angelo DelliSanti, principal of Carson High, said Overcash has a passion for his job that shines through in everything he does. Overcash is a teacher who not only wants to see his students succeed but also wants them to believe that they can as well, DelliSanti said.

“He’s incredible,” DelliSanti said.

Withers said she was “emotional and overwhelmed” at receiving the title of 2018-19 Principal of the Year. This is the second time she has received the honor — the first being in 2011. In early 2012, she was named the Northwest Regional Principal of the Year, which made her a finalist for N.C. Principal of the Year. While she did not win that honor, Withers has remained dedicated to education — especially in her home district.

“I really believe that we are working in the best district in the state,” she said Tuesday.

And with district renewal breaking ground, Withers said she thinks Rowan-Salisbury is on its way to being the best school system in the nation.

In addition to his award, Overcash received a $1,000 check for his classroom from Rowan Partners for Education and a vehicle from Gerry Wood Honda that he can use for the duration of the school year.

Overcash is now in the running for Regional Teacher of the Year.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.