DURHAM — Alison Edwards, a social studies teacher at a newly opened school, has been named Durham Public Schools Teacher of the Year for 2014.
Edwards teaches at The School for Creative Studies, a DPS year-round magnet school. She has been teaching for five years. Her selection was revealed at a banquet honoring her fellow finalists and Teacher of the Year nominees from each DPS school.
“Ms. Edwards was chosen by her peers to represent her school, and we are proud for her to represent our entire district as well,” Interim Superintendent Hugh Osteen said in a news release. “She is an accomplished teacher with a vision of success for every student. We’re excited for her to receive this recognition.”
In her finalist portfolio, Edwards wrote that from her youth as a Riverside High student, camp counselor and community volunteer, through her volunteer work in college, she realized she wanted not only to be a teacher, but to help social studies students see how historical events were connected.
“I found that patterns were not just for math class,” she said. “As an educator I strive to develop students who do not just know facts and dates, but know how to communicate their opinions on a world event and back up their opinions with evidence.”
Prior to becoming a teacher she worked with youth in Washington, D.C., as an Americorps volunteer, then coordinated a rigorous after-school and summer academic program for students in grades 5-8. She began teaching at Brogden Middle School in 2009 before joining The School for Creative Studies in 2013.
“Ms. Edwards is an excellent communicator who takes on leadership roles naturally,” said SCS principal Renee Price. “She is a mentor and inspiration to her students and fellow teachers.”
Edwards receives a $1,000 award and will represent DPS at the regional level of the North Carolina Burroughs Wellcome Fund Teacher of the Year program.
Five other finalists received $500 awards and were recognized at the banquet:
• Major Coleman, Hillside High
• Sean Grier, Durham School of the Arts
• Daniel Miller, Jordan High
• Kingsley Onuelu, Burton Elementary
• Taylor Wall, Club Boulevard Elementary
The 2014 DPS Teacher of the Year Awards Banquet was sponsored by Triangle Orthopaedic Associates and N.C. Specialty Hospital.