Knox teacher named to state’s new Teacher Leadership Council

Published 12:09 am Thursday, November 18, 2021

SALISBURY — Knox Middle School teacher Sally Schultz has been named to a new statewide council that will guide to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

Schultz is one of 30 teachers across the state who were selected to be part of the inaugural Teacher Leadership Council. Schultz was first asked to join the council in September and asked to wait on more details before the first meeting on Oct. 6. The department did not publicly debut the council and clear Schultz to speak about the new group until last week.

Schultz was Rowan-Salisbury School’s Teacher of the year in 2020.

The council plans to meet monthly and offer advice to the department. State Superintendent Catherine Truitt said the council is a way to stay in tune with people in the field.

“This group of leaders allows for the department to better understand and support educators, while providing an opportunity to engage directly with them on the challenges they face and how we can overcome them together,” Truitt said in a statement.

The members are a mix from the state’s eight public education regions and representatives from charter schools. The department says the council members are a broad representation of subject areas, grade levels and years of experience.

Schultz said the council will meet once a month and discuss topics based on what issues the council feels is important to the state. The department brings in speakers to discuss issues, and the council is able to give feedback and bring feedback from colleagues as well.

The first meeting was about equity with regard to academically and intellectually gifted students.

“It was really good, really insightful,” Schultz said. “We talked about how we really need to look for those students who kind of slip through the cracks and aren’t your typical AIG students that just stand out, the students with potential that we need to find.”

Schultz said a big piece of that puzzle is relationships, and if students do not have good relationships with their teachers, they will not always perform.

“If they’re not performing, they’re going to slip through the cracks because they are not showing they have that capability,” Schultz said, adding statewide difficulty retaining teachers raises questions about whether all those relationships are being built.

Schultz said she believes the department wants to hear opinions from the council and more feedback after the meeting.

“Our meetings are an hour, but we still talking,” Schultz said. “Everyone was really passionate on this topic.”

The first meeting was virtual, but the hope is to hold meetings in person in the future.

The council is co-chaired by Julie Pittman, a special advisor to the N.C. Board of Education and Maureen Stover, the 2020 state teacher of the year. The council is supported by 2021 state teacher of the year Eugenia Floyd.

The following is a full list of the council members and their districts:

• Maureen Stover, chair, Cumberland County Schools
• Eugenia Floyd, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
• Emily Angels, Cabarrus County Schools
• Elaina Aponte, Moore County Schools
• Jennifer Attkisson, Edenton-Chowan Public Schools
• Jennifer Bryan, Brunswick County Schools
• Susanna Cerrato, Asheville City Schools
• Jonie Chavis, Public Schools of Robeson County
• Kenya Clemonts, Halifax County Schools
• Dillon Crockett, Lee County Schools
• Joy Crosby, N.C. Virtual School
• Danny Eldreth, Ashe County Schools
• Erin Ellington, Watauga County Schools
• Emilee Higdon, Macon County Schools
• Melisa Gaddy, N.C. Charter School
• Laura Jane Howald, Polk County Schools
• Sara Lilley, Vance County Schools
• Tamara Myslinski, Rutherford County Schools
• Caroline Olson, Wake County Public School System
• Anneke Oppewal, Orange County Schools
• Kelly Poquette, Alamance-Burlington School System
• Eric Riggs, Surry County Schools
• Nicole Rivers, Cumberland County Schools
• Daniel Roseman, N.C. Virtual School
• Sally Schultz, Rowan-Salisbury Schools
• Cecelia Sizoo-Roberson, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
• Andrea Snyder, N.C. Charter School
• Darylanne Towery, Lenoir County Public Schools
• Stephanie Wallace, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
• Jeremy White, N.C. Charter School
• Hannah Wirt, Catawba County Schools