Educators honored at convocation

Special to the Daily Journal

August 24, 2013

Haley Hall, a fourth grade teacher at East Rockingham Elementary School, has been selected as the 2013 Richmond County Teacher of the Year, just one of the highlights of Thursday’s 2013 Richmond County Schools Convocation Program.

With the return of school on Monday, crowds of educators flocked to Cole Auditorium for the convocation on Thursday to mark the beginning of another year. The program was held at 1:30 p.m. for hundreds of certified staff members as they prepared to return to their classrooms.

A welcome and invocation were administered by Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Cindy Goodman and new Executive Director Dennis Quick, before members of the Board of Education each took turns offering words of encouragement and praise to the teachers. Ruth Burgin, director of Professional Development, then recognized those teachers that participated in the 2012-13 Teacher Leader Institute.

Wendy Jordan, principal of Mineral Springs Elementary, then announced the 2013 Assistant Principal of the Year.

“The assistant principal’s job is one that immerses you in what educational leadership is about and enlightens you on all of the ‘behind the scenes work’ it takes to run a school,” Jordan said. “Our Assistant Principal of the Year this year has spent approximately two decades serving Richmond County Schools in many different capacities … Our Assistant Principal of the Year for the 2013-14 school year is Jamie Allen Greene of East Rockingham Elementary School.”

Jeff Maples, assistant superintendent of Curriculum, recognized the 2013 Principal of the Year — Jim Butler of Hamlet Middle School.

Butler began his teaching career at Rockingham Middle School in the early 1990s and has remained an educator in Richmond County since. This year, his school was recognized among only 33 other schools in the country as a 2013 School to Watch.

Next on the program, Goodman returned to the podium to announce the 2013 Teachers of the Year. This year’s winners were Amanda Hudson of Cordova School; Haley Hall of East Rockingham Elementary; Derek Anderson of Ellerbe Middle; Halena Jackson of Fairview Heights Elementary; Teri Jo Watkins of Hamlet Middle; Tammy Lambert of L.J. Bell Elementary; Danielle Garth of Leak Street High; Tommy Shelton of Mineral Springs Elementary; Mandy Dawkins of Monroe Avenue Elementary; Amy DeBerry of Richmond Early College High; Jan Allen of the Ninth Grade Academy; Matthew Learn of the Richmond Transitional School; Lisa Evans of Richmond Senior High; Jesse “Chip” Gordon of Rohanen Middle; Joy Kennedy of Washington Street Elementary and Tonya Baldwin of West Rockingham Elementary.

Finally, the crowd waited anxiously as Goodman announced the 2013 Richmond County Teacher of the Year — Haley Hall.

An emotional Hall was then presented with the keys to a new car donated by Griffin Nissan.

Goodman read an excerpt from Hall’s application, quoting her as someone who wanted to be remembered as a teacher who pushed her students to always do their best, no matter what — even on the days they felt they couldn’t do it.

After an update on the state legislature and education from North Carolina Association of Educators President Jennifer Byrd, Superintendent George E. Norris offered a few words to the teachers in the audience.

Norris updated educators on many things that had occurred throughout the past year in Richmond County Schools, including new departmental staff, national recognitions, professional development and educational initiatives.

He encouraged Richmond County teachers to be the ones to stand up and meet the changes in education head-on and with a positive attitude.

Following the program, a small reception was held in honor of the 2013 Teachers, Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year.

For more information about the opening days of school, visit the district website at and click the Back to School tab.