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JCPS Honors Outstanding First Year Teachers

Johnston County Public Schools named Ally Edwards as the district’s Outstanding First Year Teacher of the Year at a virtual ceremony on April 15.

Edwards, a 2016 graduate of Corinth Holders High, is an agriculture science teacher at North Johnston Middle. Her principal, Heather Anders, describes her as a skillful presenter who is extremely knowledgeable in her area. Anders stated that Edwards facilitates learning for her students with the poise, confidence, and the organization of a more experienced teacher.

“Agriculture and teaching are two of my biggest passions, and I am so excited to combine those passions into my career. This year has brought new challenges for all teachers, but I always try to see the positives out of any situation,” said Edwards. “I have learned to value building student relationships and find engaging ways to teach students about the importance of agriculture, both in person and virtually.”

Edwards received a $500 check sponsored by Ryan Taylor of Horace Mann Insurance Company for being named the JCPS First Year Teacher of the Year.

“I am so thankful to have had the support of my family, colleagues, and fellow agriculture teachers this year,” stated Edwards. “I look forward to continuing to work in a school district that provided me so much as a student."

Smithfield-Selma High teacher David Brown and Cleveland High teacher Brandon Hughes were named finalists for the award. The Johnston County Education Foundation presented both Brown and Grant with a grant for $250 to use in their classrooms.

“A teacher’s first year is a pivotal moment in the professional career that can inform much of the rest of one’s life. We are grateful for Ms. Edwards devotion to this noble profession and to the lives she’s already touched. We wish her many years of continued success,” said Dr. Eric Bracy, Superintendent.

There were 28 first-year teachers who were recognized for their outstanding performance in the classroom for the award. Those nominated for the award include:

Sarah Catherine Stone, Archer Lodge Middle
Felicia Stevens Barrow, Benson Elementary
Vincent Justice, Benson Middle
Timothy M. Sault, Clayton High
Rabina Bissessar, Clayton Middle
Brandon Hughes, Cleveland High
Jill Ann Shokalook, Corinth Holders Elementary
Lauren Jarman, Four Oaks Elementary
Stephany Torres, Four Oaks Middle
Lauryn Russell, McGee’s Crossroads Elementary
Mark Bentley, McGee’s Crossroads Middle
Tori Dupree, Meadow School
James Alton Johnson, North Johnston High
Ally Edwards, North Johnston Middle
Emily Woodward Renfrow, Pine Level Elementary
Brittany Kelly, Polenta Elementary
Elizabeth Warwick, Powhatan Elementary
Jarrett Pearce, Princeton Middle/High
Stacy Morin, River Dell Elementary
Jenna Della Jacono, Riverwood Middle
Marissa Renee Comly, Selma Elementary
Michelle M. Faucett, Smithfield Middle
David F. H. Brown, Smithfield-Selma High
Lexi Brown, South Smithfield Elementary
Susan K. Topoly, Swift Creek Middle
Brian E. Cullins, West Johnston High
Brenda A. Palmer, West Smithfield Elementary
Casey Ford, West View Elementary