NEWS RELEASES 2009-10 :: MAY 5, 2010


Jennifer Facciolini, a social studies teacher at Midway High School, Sampson County Schools, was tonight named the 2010-11 AT&T North Carolina Teacher of the Year at a banquet held in Cary. Facciolini succeeds Jessica Garner, a Spanish teacher at Porter Ridge High School, Union County Schools.

In making the presentation, State Superintendent June Atkinson said Facciolini is a wonderful example of the exceptional teachers leading public school classrooms across the state. "Jennifer finds ways to make social studies relevant to her students so that they connect with the events and people and remember what they've learned," Atkinson said. "She understands that education is not about teaching, but students learning."

State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison also congratulated Facciolini on her selection saying, "As a former principal, I know what a highly motivated teacher can accomplish in the classroom. The students at Midway High School are incredibly fortunate to have such a champion working hard on their behalf to ensure that they are successful in the classroom and in life." Harrison added that he looks forward to getting to know Facciolini as an advisor to the State Board of Education and felt confident that she would well represent her peers.

In accepting the award, Facciolini said that as the AT&T North Carolina Teacher of the Year she would communicate the importance of educating each child. "Often in education we have been presented with a ‘shoot to the middle' philosophy and we fail to teach each child. It is imperative that we assess where each child is academically and work to improve and expand upon their knowledge and skills. Our future depends on the total education of every student."

AT&T officials joined state educational leaders in announcing the 2010-11 North Carolina Teacher of the Year. This is the third year AT&T has sponsored the state's recognition program, the most prestigious honor for North Carolina teachers.

AT&T North Carolina President Cynthia Marshall said, "Every day outstanding teachers across this state are creatively blending new technologies and techniques, love of learning and genuine concern for students to help young people begin to fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams. We are proud to be the title sponsor of the North Carolina Teacher of the Year award and to encourage those educators who are literally changing young lives. Education is the key that will unlock a bright future for every young person and one of the hands holding that key is a classroom teacher's."

Facciolini has 11 years of teaching experience and has taught social studies for the last three at Midway High School. She is a member of the Professional Educators of North Carolina and the Parent Teacher Association.

She mentors beginning teachers, supervises and mentors student teachers, chairs Midway High's School Improvement Team, chairs the school's Social Studies Department and participates in staff development presentations. Facciolini has received a number of awards including Sampson County Schools' Teacher of the Year 2009-10, Midway High School Teacher of the Year 2009-10, Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Award 2006 and was a Wake County Teacher of the Year semifinalist in 2006.

Facciolini completed her undergraduate studies at Meredith College where she received a Bachelor of Arts in American Civilization and Secondary Social Studies Certification. She achieved National Board Certification in 2005.

The AT&T North Carolina Teacher of the Year will spend the school year traveling the state as an ambassador for the teaching profession. Facciolini will receive an automobile to use during the year she serves as Teacher of the Year, an engraved plaque, a one-time cash award of $7,500, a trip to the National Teacher of the Year conference, the opportunity to travel abroad through an endowment at the North Carolina Center for International Understanding, and a technology package valued at over $17,000 from SMART Technologies. She also will serve as an advisor to the State Board of Education for two years.

The other regional finalists were:

  • North Central Region: Rene Herrick, Combs Elementary (Wake County Schools);
  • Northeast Region: Vann Lassiter, John A. Holmes High (Edenton-Chowan Public Schools);
  • Northwest Region: Joy Jenkins, Cleveland Elementary (Rowan-Salisbury Schools);
  • Southwest Region: David Dahari, Marvin Ridge High (Union County Schools);
  • Sandhills/South Central Region: Amber Watkins, Scotland Early College High (Scotland County Schools);
  • Piedmont-Triad/Central Region: Courtney Davis, Randleman High (Randolph County Schools);
  • West Region: Dorothy Case, North Henderson High (Henderson County Schools); and
  • Charter Schools: Stuart Miles, Evergreen Community Charter (Asheville).

North Carolina has recognized outstanding teachers through its Teacher of the Year program since 1970. For more information, visit the North Carolina's Teacher of the Year recognition program 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 160 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.