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CTI News News

CTI Fellows Named Teachers of the Year

by Matthew Strohl, CTI Summer Intern

Each year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg teachers are recognized for their outstanding achievements. This year is no different, with a plethora of teachers that have gone far and beyond for their students. Schools nominate teachers that have shown unparalleled ability to be considered for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) Teacher of the Year award. This award is given out on two levels: each CMS school nominates a teacher to receive a school-level award, and then the county selects a teacher from those to receive the county-wide award. Not only is winning these awards a great honor, but even being considered for one shows prowess and determination to help students succeed. Teachers from all over CMS take part in Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) seminars each year. From these teachers, there is a constant chance for there to be a few Teacher of the Year nominees. This year is no different; from the 98 teachers that completed seminars last year, five of them received Teacher of the Year awards from their schools. Two of these CTI fellows were also finalists for the county-wide award. “Charlotte Teachers Institute prides itself in helping teachers enhance their skills both within the classroom and without,” said CTI director Scott Gartlan. The five CTI fellows that received awards are Brad Baker, 10th grade civics and economics teacher from William A. Hough High School; Lyndsay Burns, 4th grade teacher from David Cox Elementary; Tara Lee, 7th grade language arts teacher from Bailey Middle School; Jashonai Payne, 5th grade teacher from Clear Creek Elementary; and Emily Wegener, Specialized Academic Curriculum (SAC) teacher from Albemarle Road Elementary. These five teachers of the year had plenty of positive feedback for CTI in regards to its influence on their achievements. “CTI sparked my love for learning and made my lessons more engaging and exciting for my students,” said Lee. “This created a productive learning environment which led to being recognized by my colleagues.” Wegener, one of two CMS-wide Teacher of the Year award finalists that were CTI fellows, stated “CTI gave me the level of professionalism and depth of discussion that I was looking for.” Sean “Brad” Baker was the other finalist. ”CTI is great because you are getting quality detail and education in your seminar leader and having detailed professional discussions between educators,” said Baker. “I have worked hard to improve myself every year as a teacher and CTI has helped in that process. “It meant so much that my kids and my type of teaching were valued by my coworkers,” stated Wegener about her award. “I loved that I was getting a ‘normal’ teacher award, even though my area of teaching is not that normal at all!” Both Baker and Wegener’s accomplishments are incredibly notable and reflect their success with the help of CTI. Baker and Wegener, alongside Payne, Lee and Burns, are incredible teachers that show exceptional promise in their respective academic fields.