East Rowan High’s Rachel Moysan named Teacher of the Year

Published 12:05 am Friday, May 27, 2022

GRANITE QUARRY — Rachel Moysan walked into East Rowan High School’s media center on Thursday expecting a staff school year wrap-up, but she left with the school district’s top honor.

Moysan joined the room full of her colleagues with no idea what was happening until she saw some of her students in the back of the room. Then it hit her.

“We’re not supposed to have students today, and they were all my students,” Moysan said.

She took a moment to process what was happening but then she knew and teared up as Interim Superintendent Jason Gardner stood up in front of the crowd to tell them they were there to celebrate Moysan.

She was given $1,000 by Rowan Partners for Education, $250 from Education4All, a gift basket from the district, $250 for her classroom from the Phillip J. Kirk Endowed Scholarship, a week at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching and a certificate from the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce. Her family surprised her by showing up as well and Todd Parker, the district’s 2021 Teacher of the Year, was on hand to present the award.

Moysan said she was a bit overwhelmed but grateful for the award. She has been a social studies teacher at East since 2005. She teaches human geography, world history, Holocaust, genocide studies and psychology.

“I taught world history for a long time, and then when we introduced human geography I was really, really interested in that,” said Moysan, who added she never expected to win.

Moysan said Principal Tonya Brinegar-German asks teachers what they want to teach and that inspired her to create a course on the holocaust.

“She really understands how to make student connections,” Brinegar-German said. “To push students to do their individual best, and she really centers all of her work around why she values education. It’s definitely seen in her classrooms, day in and day out in the works she does with her students and her willingness to work with colleagues.”

Meredith Abramson, an art teacher at East, said Moysan has been a colleague and a friend since 2005. Abramson’s daughter is now one of Moysan’s students.

“I’ve said it over and over again, Rachel is definitely one of the best teachers in our school,” Abramson. “And I’ve said to some of the people that voted for her that Rowan-Salisbury Schools got this right. I’ve always felt that way, that she goes above and beyond.”

Abramson pointed out the group of students who came out to support Moysan got up on the first morning of summer break to be there.

Chad Mitchell, a social studies department colleague of Moysan, said she is a deserving recipient. “She has a real passion for her material, but even more importantly she has a passion for her students,” Mitchell said. “She wants to instill that passion for her courses into her students but she also cares about their wellbeing.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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