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NEWS RELEASES 2008-09 :: JANUARY 16, 2009


Nine teachers were recently selected to represent their regions and charter schools as regional Teachers of the Year and will now compete for the title of 2009-10 AT&T North Carolina Teacher of the Year. The winner will succeed the 2008-09 AT&T North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Cindi Rigsbee, a sixth/seventh grades reading resource teacher at Gravelly Hill Middle School (Orange County Public Schools).

The regional teachers of the year are as follows:
  • North Central Region: Matthew Bristow-Smith, Tarboro High (Edgecombe County Schools);
  • Northeast Region: Gina Beaman, Creekside Elementary (Pitt County Schools);
  • Northwest Region: Robert Turner, Grandview Middle (Hickory Public Schools);
  • Southeast Region: Nicole Murray, James Kenan School of Engineering (Duplin County Schools);
  • Southwest Region: Jessica Garner, Porter Ridge High (Union County Schools);
  • Sandhills/South Central Region: Martha Anderson, Washington Street Elementary (Richmond County Schools);
  • Piedmont-Triad/Central Region: Phillip Little, Northwood High (Chatham County Schools);
  • West Region: Jo Peterson Gibbs, Asheville Middle (Asheville City Schools); and
  • Charter Schools: John Hall, ArtSpace Charter (Buncombe County).
"Congratulations to these educators on their selection as regional teachers of the year. Our state has a wealth of dedicated and creative teachers for which we can all be grateful," State Superintendent June Atkinson said. "I wish them the best as they represent the state's public schools on the 2009-10 AT&T North Carolina Teacher of the Year team."

Each of the regional teachers of the year will receive a one-time stipend of $5,000 and a trip to a national conference. The AT&T 2009-10 North Carolina Teacher of the Year will be announced May 5 at a dinner and awards ceremony in Raleigh.

North Carolina has recognized outstanding teachers through its Teacher of the Year program since 1970. For more information on North Carolina's Teacher of the Year recognition program, visit or contact the NCDPI's Communications division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.