Archive for the ‘Terrific Teachers’ Category


WCPSS adds 90 National Board certified teachers; still ranks No. 1 in US

Ninety WCPSS teachers recently earned what is widely considered the “gold standard” in teaching – certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

This brings the total number of teachers achieving this status while working in WCPSS to 2,455 – the largest number of certified teachers for any school district nationwide. This is the ninth consecutive year WCPSS has held this distinction.certday_graphic2014

“Achieving national certification is no easy task; it’s a true indicator of a teacher’s profound commitment to the very best for his or her students,” said Superintendent Jim Merrill. “We are quite proud of these dedicated professionals.”

Seeking National Board Certification demands significant time and effort from a teacher. The one- to three-year process requires teachers to take on leadership roles, collaborate with peers and analyze their teaching practices and their impact on student learning. The National Board program is built upon the belief that higher standards for teachers means better learning for students.

Once a candidate becomes a National Board Certified Teacher, he or she is eligible for a 12 percent pay increase from the state.

Certifications must be renewed every 10 years. Another group of 106 teachers from WCPSS earned their 10-year renewals last month.

Newly certified teachers, along with those receiving renewals this year, will be honored at a celebration to be held on Feb. 4, 2015.

List of 2014 National Board Certified Teachers List of 2014 NBCT Renewals


For more information, visit

A Towering Influence over Young Lives

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‘Goal’ tending: Moore Square teacher assistant Marcus Campbell with colleague Niki Cooper, left, and with students.

Marcus Campbell is seven feet tall. But that’s not the only reason kids look up to him.

Another reason is his sense of humor. He’s also a great role model, and oh yeah — he’s a former professional basketball player.

Moore Square Magnet Middle School students think it’s cool that one of their teacher assistants used to play pro ball, and that he has to duck to go through doorways – and they’re right. But his positive influence on their lives is ever so much cooler.

“Mr. Campbell is like a big brother to me,” said seventh-grader Keyshawn Hough, who credits Campbell with helping him in all his subjects. “He tells me if I don’t learn it now, life will be a lot harder for me.”

Kids like Keyshawn are why Marcus Campbell gave up chasing hoops for changing lives.

“When I sat down and thought about a career choice, I thought about not me as an adult, but me as a kid,” he said. “I always wanted someone to be there and someone to provide that leadership.”

Life had its share of ups and downs for Campbell as a youngster. He stayed in school, remained persistent and did his best on and off the basketball court.

All of that ultimately worked in his favor. After four years on a full basketball scholarship at Mississippi State University, Marcus headed to the pros.

There were several seasons with the NBA Developmental League, including short stints with the Bobcats, Rockets and Kings. After that, seven years in Europe (Italy, Spain, France), then Uruguay, New Zealand, Qatar and Iran.

Those experiences (including a brief detainment in a troubled Qatar) make quite the story in and of themselves. But this story is about a man who returned from one great adventure to create another one by making a difference in young people’s lives.

Strong male role models were scarce for Campbell growing up. He knew there were too many kids out there just like him.

That’s why he came to Moore Square, and also why he’s an assistant basketball coach at Middle Creek High School.

“(Campbell) is great at telling students that character is just as important as the skill set is,” said Moore Square Principal Kengie Bass. “He’s been a great role model for our students, and he’s willing to work with all students. We just love having him here.”

Campbell plans to finish out his career in education and coaching. And he’s got a very good reason for it.

“I sleep better at night,” he said. “Knowing that something I wanted when I was a kid and didn’t have, I’m now able to give it to someone else.”





Holly Grove Media Specialist helps students learn about family history

Holly Grove Middle media specialist Kendra Allen participated in a collaboration between and LEARN NC, an outreach arm of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education. Allen was one of 10 educators who worked to create a multimedia how-to guide for teachers to use family history resources in their classrooms.

Allen used the guide to lead eighth graders in exploring their family histories.

“My hope was that my students would dive and thrive on their own curiosity to know more, find more, learn more,” Allen said. “I wasn’t disappointed. It was the most wholly engaged group of eighth grade students I had ever worked with, even though they were in their last weeks of middle school.” Continue Reading . . .

Fuquay-Varina band director receives Award of Excellence

Matthew Edwards, band director at Fuquay-Varina High School, has received the Award of Excellence from the Central District Bandmasters Association.  The award is primarily designed to recognize a career of excellence in all areas of instrumental music education and service to both district, state and national professional music associations.

Edwards received the award at a ceremony during the annual North Carolina Music Educators’ Association Convention on Nov. 10.  As recipient of the Award of Excellence, he has been invited to conduct the High School Grade 9-12 Symphonic Band at the 2014 All-District Band Clinic.

Edwards has been Director of Bands and instructor of AP Music Theory at Fuquay- Varina since 2002. The Central District Bandmasters Association provides support for band directors in the central region of North Carolina.


Bright Ideas generate $40K for WCPSS teachers

WCPSS teachers continue to generate high voltage with their great ideas for the classroom, and Wake Electric has taken notice.

The local utility has awarded 15 teachers in the district with nearly $40,000 in Bright Ideas education grants. The grants fund innovative classroom learning projects.

The Bright Ideas grant program helps teachers finance creative projects to benefit North Carolina’s youth,” said Darnell Alford, coordinator for all of Wake Electric’s teacher grant programs. “Teachers have so many great ideas, and we’re pleased to help these grant winners bring their ideas to life in the classroom.”

Since the Bright Ideas grant program began in 1994, North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives collectively have awarded more than $9.1 million to teachers across the state. The Bright Ideas program has sponsored more than 8,800 projects in all subjects including math, reading, science and technology, history, music and the arts. 

Bright Ideas grant applications are collected each year through mid-September, and winning proposals are selected in a competitive evaluation process by a panel of judges. The application process will reopen for interested teachers in April 2015.

Winning teachers are Allison Sarran of Lincoln Heights Elementary, Jeannie Ransone of Sanderson High, Lorraine Romano and Joshua Davis of Millbrook High, Monica Stokes of Pleasant Union Elementary, Ashley Dozier of Root Elementary, Laurie Bowers of Baileywick Road Elementary, David Sander of Wake Forest High, Bruce Mamel of Millbrook, Marie Arondeau of Poe Elementary, Linda Dextre of Wendell Middle, Lori Warren of Rolesville Middle, Cynthia Linton of Stough Elementary, Andrew Kaufman of Moore Square Middle and Carl Harrington of East Wake Academy.

To see a list of winners and find out more information about the Bright Ideas grant program, visit or the Bright Ideas website at 

Bugg teacher attends Library of Congress institute

Bugg Magnet Elementary librarian Chris Tuttell is currently in Washington, DC where she met Freedom Rider Joan Trumpauer Mulholland today for a personal tour of the Civil Rights exhibit at the American History Museum. Tuttell was selected from a pool of more than 400 applicants to participate in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute. Continue Reading . . .

Former East Millbrook student wins school cash for her Teacher Story

An article by a student who attended East Millbrook Magnet Middle in 2001 praising one of the school’s teachers earned the school $1,000 in the Teacher Stories contest.

Student Lauren Casteen entered the contest to write about former East Millbrook teacher Ron Jones and the impact he had on her. Continue Reading . . .

Phillips students headed for State Math Fair

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Mary E. Phillips high school sent eight students to the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM) Eastern Regional Mathematics Fair

held at East Carolina University in Greenville N.C., on Friday March 14, 2014.  The NCCTM focuses on “Promoting Excellence in Mathematics teaching and learning for all. ”

The team of Isabel Hernandez and Veronica Torres finished third overall in the category for grade levels 9-12. The team of Angelica Del Rosario and DaChrisha Ramsey finished second overall in the 9-12 grade level category.

Both teams qualified for the State Math Fair, which will be held at the Science and Math Institute in Durham, North Carolina on May 3.  Mary E. Phillips went into the competition led by Math teacher Nicolle Martin, a first-year beginning teacher.

Continue Reading . . .

3 Wake teachers on Governor’s Teacher Advisory Committee

Editor’s Note: The profession of teaching has been in the spotlight over the last several months, and for good reason. Among the groups studying compensation and working conditions for NC teachers is the Governor’s Teacher Advisory Committee (GTAC). Three WCPSS teachers have been serving on the GTAC. In the interest of representing all teachers, they came up with several strategies to reach out to WCPSS teachers, including a blog. Continue Reading . . .

Wake teachers top the state in effectiveness

The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) is one of only four school districts in North Carolina where more than 90 per cent of teachers met or exceeded student academic growth standards on NC’s new Teacher Effectiveness Index for 2012-13. In Wake, 91.6 per cent of teachers met or exceeded academic growth standards. The smaller Dare County school system’s index tied Wake.  The smaller Watauga County system’s teachers scored a 92 per cent, and 90.2 per cent of teachers in Cabarrus County Schools met or exceeded standards. The state average for North Carolina is 79.3 per cent. Continue Reading . . .