NEWS RELEASES 2011-12 :: JANUARY 24, 2012


Nine teachers have been selected to represent their regions and charter schools as the state's regional Teachers of the Year and will now compete for the title of 2012-13 North Carolina Teacher of the Year. The winner will succeed the 2011-12 North Carolina Teacher of the Year Tyronna Hooker, an exceptional children's teacher at Graham Middle School (Alamance-Burlington Schools).

North Carolina Regional Teachers of the Year are:

  • North Central Region: Malinda Pennington, Toisnot Middle (Wilson County Schools);
  • Northeast Region: Lisa Staats, Chocowinity Middle (Beaufort County Schools);
  • Northwest Region: Darcy Grimes, Bethel Elementary (Watauga County Schools);
  • Southeast Region: Melissa Warren, South Brunswick High (Brunswick County Schools);
  • Southwest Region: Lenora Crabtree, Forest View High (Gaston County Schools);
  • Sandhills/South Central Region: Karrie Detwiler, JW Turlington Alternative School (Hoke County Schools);
  • Piedmont-Triad/Central Region: Jennifer Arberg, Kiser Middle (Guilford County Schools);
  • West Region: Edith Callahan, Smoky Mountain High (Jackson County Schools); and
  • Charter Schools: Jenni Clayton, Forsyth Academy (Forsyth County)

"Congratulations to these outstanding educators who so clearly demonstrate the dedication, creativity and tenacity needed to ensure success for all students," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "We know that a quality teacher is the key to student success in the classroom and with teachers such as these, it's no wonder we've been able to steadily improve on our graduation rate. I know they will contribute just as much to our state during their service on the 2012-13 North Carolina Teacher of the Year team."

The 2012-13 North Carolina Teacher of the Year will be announced in early May at an 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

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.