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CHCCS Honors Staff at Virtual Annual Recognition Reception

Link Named 2021-22 Teacher of the Year

Brian Link of East Chapel Hill High, was named the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) Teacher of the Year at the virtual annual Recognition Reception on May 26.

Link is a social studies teacher and the district’s Social Justice Academy director with nine years of teaching experience.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University, a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford University Law School and a Master of Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Link received a $1,000 check from Pinnacle Financial Partners.

 Two Honor Teachers were also named on Wednesday.  They are Angela McChesney of Carrboro High and Elizabeth Symons of Northside Elementary.  They each received a $500 check from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation (PSF).

Other Teachers of the Year were recognized with $100 checks from PSF.  They are: Veronica deBartolo, Carrboro Elementary; Stephanie White, Ephesus Elementary; Acea Ward, Estes Hills Elementary; Jenna Nielsen, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; Shane Chinni, Glenwood Elementary; Morgan Hunt, McDougle Elementary; Whitney Maxwell, Morris Grove Elementary; Carmen Hackney, Rashkis Elementary; Tricia Billy, Scroggs Elementary; Stephanie Reid, Seawell Elementary; Sherry Smith, Culbreth Middle; Karen Herring, McDougle Middle; Audrey Dawson, Phillips Middle; Melissa Barry, Smith Middle; Erica Kinney, Chapel Hill High; and Tania Agosto, UNC Hospital School.

The Mary Scroggs Award for Excellence in Providing Support Services recognizes one classified staff member from each school and several Lincoln Center departments.  Traditionally, one person from all of the nominees is named the award recipient; however, this year, CHCCS is proud to announce three winners. They are: Stephen Crownson, custodian, Glenwood Elementary; Matthew Jorgenson, IT network engineer, Lincoln Center, IT Department; and Lillian Rodermond, bookkeeper, Chapel Hill High. All three recipients received a $1,000 check.

Other Classified Staff of the Year, who each received $100, are:  Raymond Miles, teacher assistant, Carrboro Elementary; Norma Centeno, teacher assistant, Ephesus Elementary; Tanika Neville, teacher assistant, Estes Hills Elementary; Kathy Glosson, data manager, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; Abdullah Hussain, lead custodian, Morris Grove Elementary; Arthur Ratliff, teacher assistant, Northside Elementary; Tasha Moore, data manager, Rashkis Elementary; Jamal Alston, teacher assistant, Scroggs Elementary; John Tate, EC teacher assistant, Seawell Elementary; Markeith Gary, EC teacher assistant, Culbreth Middle; Robert Rudd, lead custodian, McDougle Middle; Delphine Sieredzki, library assistant, Phillips Middle; Kristina Rhodes, library assistant, Smith Middle; Margaret Devetski, library assistant, Carrboro High; Elizabeth Rogers, EC teacher assistant, East Chapel Hill High; Ya Day Moo Wai, school secretary, Phoenix Academy High; Michael Eshelman, executive secretary, Instructional Services Division, Lincoln Center; Raymond “Butch” Scott, buildings foreman, Facilities/Maintenance, Lincoln Center; and Pattie Reid, lead bus driver, Transportation.

Shannon Allee, the school counselor at Culbreth Middle, received the Exceptional Children Student Services Staff of the Year Award, as well as a check for $500.  The two Honor Recipients are Marne Meredith, school social worker at Ephesus Elementary, and Christina Moore, school social worker at Smith Middle.  They each received $250.

The other ECSS Staff of the Year, who each received $50, are: Kathryn Harrison, school social worker, Carrboro Elementary; Jacqueline Holloman, EC program facilitator, Estes Hills Elementary; Suzy Gonzalez, school social worker, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; Kayla Jackson, school psychologist, Glenwood Elementary; Aveni Ghosh, school counselor, McDougle Elementary; Angela Snider, school social worker, Morris Grove Elementary; Crystal Brunson, school emotional learning specialist, Northside Elementary; Virginia Fox, school psychologist, Rashkis Elementary; Jessica Schaul, school psychologist, Scroggs Elementary; Eileen Stough, school nurse, Seawell Elementary; Shannon Allee, school counselor, Culbreth Middle; Diana Straughan, school nurse, McDougle Middle; Allison Crosetto, school social worker, Phillips Middle; Ashley Freuler, mental health specialist, Carrboro High; Erich Priest, school counselor, Chapel Hill High; and Jessica Harris, school counselor, East Chapel Hill High.

Other staff awards were also presented at the event.

Crystal Epps of Scroggs Elementary was recognized as the district's Principal of the Year, while Kirtisha Jones of Northside Elementary was named the district's Assistant Principal of the Year.  Brad Johnson, director of transportation, received the Award for Excellence in District Administration.

Gretchen Pegram of Rashkis Elementary was the recipient of the Jeannette Blackwell Mentor Teacher Award.   Courtney Rogers of FPG Bilingüe Elementary received the CHC Promising New Teacher Award. Brandon Cartagena of Culbreth Middle was awarded the Award for Excellence in Teaching Dual Language. Courtney Sears of Ephesus Elementary was awarded The Reckford Teaching Prize.

 The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Association of Educators (CHCAE) presented two awards this year to CHCAE members. Ashley Sherman of Ephesus Elementary received the Courageous Educator Award and Megan Stevenson of Culbreth Middle was the recipient of the Consummate Professional Award.

Kimberly Jones of Chapel Hill High received the MSAN (Minority Student Achievement Network) Equity Equals Excellence Award. The Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate (BRMA) program presented three Excellence in Equity Awards.  These award recipients are selected by the students in BRMA.  The awards went to Janet Davis-Castro of Carrboro Elementary, Gabriel Graña of Smith Middle and Morgan Hunt from McDougle Elementary.

Representatives of PSF were on hand to present both new and renewing Teaching Chairs. Shannon McGinnis of East Chapel Hill High is the Elmo’s Chair for Excellence in Teaching High School Math or Science. Emily Shepherd of Culbreth Middle is first recipient of the new Sterling and Anita Hennis Chair for Promising New Secondary Teacher of English/Language Arts or Social Studies. Garrison Reid of Chapel Hill High is the Neil Pedersen Teachers First Chair for Excellence in Classroom Technology. Tony Carter of Smith Middle is the Zora Rashkis Chair for Excellence in Teaching Middle School Language Arts or Social Studies.  Lisa Frangipane of Morris Grove Elementary is the Mel and Zora Rashkis Chair for Excellence in Teaching Healthful Living and Physical Education. Toni Lehman of McDougle Elementary is the Upper Elementary Chair for Excellence in Teaching Innovation.

Renewing Chair recipients were also honored. Mary Patricia Peres-da-Silva of McDougle Middle is the GlaxoSmithKline Chair for Excellence in Teaching Middle School Science or Math. Corrie Franklin of Culbreth Middle is the PSF/PTSA Chair for Excellence in Teaching Cultural Arts. Ronetta Walker of Pre-K/Head Start is the Sockwell Chair for Excellence in Teaching in the Primary Grades (Pre-K-2). Christine Sudzina of East Chapel Hill High is the Burton Stuart Chair for Promising New Teachers of Secondary Math or Science.  Jamie Fernandez-Schendt of Carrboro High is the Bernadine Sullivan Chair for Excellence in Teaching High School English or Social Studies.

Two teachers were recognized for earning their National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.  They join the more than 300 other CHCCS teachers who have earned their National Boards.  They are:  Kimberly Lane, Smith Middle; and Austin Tortorici, Phillips Middle.

There were also 15 teachers who were recertified with their National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. They are: Lisa Albury. Scroggs Elementary; Ryan Ellefsen, East Chapel Hill High; Keith Gerdes, East Chapel Hill High; Cynthia Greenert, Scroggs Elementary; Hans Hiemstra, East Chapel Hill High; Ingrid McCausland, Carrboro Elementary; William Melega, Chapel Hill High; Kimberly Mellor, Ephesus Elementary; Neal Morgan, East Chapel Hill High; Mary Savelli, Phillips Middle; Kelly Sears, Smith Middle; Kristen Swanson, Carrboro High; Anne Tomalin, Chapel Hill High; Kirsten Venema, Ephesus Elementary; and Nicole Walker, McDougle Middle.

Employees retiring from the district this year were recognized, if they chose to be.  Those honored are:  Sonya Adams, Ephesus Elementary; Thomas Benrimo, Carrboro High; Jonathan Beyel, Phillips Middle; Nancy Bierman, East Chapel Hill High; Marylyn Burnette, Morris Grove Elementary; Karen Casey, Northside Elementary; Gladis Castaneda, Carrboro Elementary; Holly Clark, Morris Gove Elementary; Lori Clark, Smith Middle; Kathy Cox, Scroggs Elementary; Elizabeth Davis, Seawell Elementary; Janet Davis-Castro, Carrboro Elementary; Karen Edwards, McDougle Middle; Jacquelene Ellison, Carrboro Elementary; Merna Galassi, Seawell Elementary; Robin Gallaher, Lincoln Center; Julie Hogue, Phillips Middle; Cheryl Holloman, Carrboro Elementary; Lisa House, Estes Hills Elementary; Linda Jens, Estes Hills Elementary; Antoinette Joyner, East Chapel Hill High; Susan Julian, Scroggs Elementary; Melodie Kelly, Rashkis Elementary; Susan Kenny, Scroggs Elementary; Amy Langenderfer, Lincoln Center; Charles Lockhart, Transportation; Bethany Lorber-Custer, Lincoln Center; Ellen Manning, Carrboro Elementary; Robin McMahon, Smith Middle; Terrye Oakley, Carrboro Elementary; Gina Pellegrini, Scroggs Elementary; Debra Price, McDougle Elementary; Mary Ristaino, Morris Grove Elementary; Martin Roper, Phillips Middle; Angela Short, Phillips Middle; Melvin Smith, Transportation; Sharon Smith, Glenwood Elementary; Susan Stites, Carrboro High; Jacqueline Stitt, Transportation; Donna Swahlan, Pre-K/Head Start; Raymond Thomas, Carrboro High; Annie Washington, McDougle Elementary; Donna Weaver, Glenwood Elementary; Marie Williams-Skinner, Lincoln Center; Misti Williams, Lincoln Center; Wanda Williams, Phillips Middle; Linda Williford, Seawell Elementary; and Stephen Young, Smith Middle.

Employees were also honored for attaining milestones of service with CHCCS.  Three employees were honored for having 30 years of service to CHCCS.  They are: Wesley Farrar, Lincoln Center; Mary Gates, McDougle Middle; and Donald Minnick, Smith Middle.

Employees with 25 years of service included: Evon Barnes, East Chapel Hill High; Taren Basnight, Seawell Elementary; Denise Buckley, Lincoln Center; Sheila Crosland, Ephesus Elementary; Desiree Davis-Omburo, East Chapel Hill High; Richard Drenzek, Lincoln Center and Transportation; Ramanda Edwards, East Chapel Hill High; Cheryl Edwards, Carrboro Elementary; Lara Farrar, Lincoln Center; Bobby Kelly, Glenwood Elementary; Teresa Menz, Scroggs Elementary; Bradley Miller, East Chapel Hill High; Lee Newbold; Katherine Parrent, McDougle Middle; Amelia Quick, McDougle Elementary; Laverne Riggsbee, East Chapel Hill High; Melissa Tolbert, Morris Grove Elementary; Angela Wilson-Crocker, McDougle Middle; Latoya Williams-Clark, McDougle Middle; and Bobby Woodard, Lincoln Center.

Employees with 20 years of service included: Kimberly Alston, Culbreth Middle; Daryl Anderson, Chapel Hill High; Kimberly Bailliard, Lincoln Center; Caroline Bender, Smith Middle; Jessica Booker, Estes Hills Elementary; Robin Bulleri, Carrboro High; Lynn Carrino, Culbreth Middle; MacKenzie Casey, Smith Middle; Gina Clark, McDougle Elementary; Beverly Cuthbertson, Phillips Middle; Audrey Dawson, Phillips Middle; Catherine Day, Lincoln Center and Transportation; Mary Anne DeFir, Carrboro High; Jon Evans, McDougle Middle; Dedra Harris, Rashkis Elementary; Stephen Head, Chapel Hill High; Kathleen Hunter, Lincoln Center; Vicki Johnson, Chapel Hill High; Debbie Koonce, Lincoln Center; Sally Merryman, Smith Middle; Tasha Moore, Rashkis Elementary; Li Ying Noell, Rashkis Elementary; Phyllis Norwood, Pre-K/Head Start; Rachel Pugliese, McDougle Elementary; Alice Rivenbark, Lincoln Center; Jennifer Roth, Morris Grove Elementary and Seawell Elementary; Marny Ruben, UNC Hospital School; Shawn Rudd, Lincoln Center; Kevin Schoden, Chapel Hill High; Melissa Stopa, Scroggs Elementary; Bryan Ursery, Lincoln Center; Carolyn Walker, Scroggs Elementary; Craig Walker, Rashkis Elementary; Sharie Walker, East Chapel Hill High; Mary Whortan, Morris Grove Elementary; and Leigh Wulforst, Phillips Middle.

This year, CHCCS also newly recognized its employees with five, 10 and 15 years of service.

Employees with 15 years of service included: Jenny Al Sheikhli, East Chapel Hill High; Yolanda Alston, Pre-K/Head Start; Susan Azzu, Rashkis Elementary; Robert Bales, McDougle Middle; Boyd Blackburn, Smith Middle; Barbara Brownell, McDougle Middle; Yasmin Cornish, Transportation; Deborah Cox, Carrboro Elementary; Nicole Deinert, Lincoln Center; Thomas Drago, Chapel Hill High; Jared Drexler, McDougle Elementary; Juan Echeverry, Scroggs Elementary; Tamara Edmonds, Scroggs Elementary; Ryan Ellefsen, East Chapel Hill High; Aydee Evans, Carrboro Elementary; Keith Gerdes, East Chapel Hill High; Kelly Germino, East Chapel Hill High; Kelly Glosson, Lincoln Center; Laura Harris, Rashkis Elementary; Sheena Hooker, Rashkis Elementary; Erin Kellas, Smith Middle; Anna Laffaye, Morris Grove Elementary; Kimberly Lindekugel, Chapel Hill High; Hope Love, East Chapel Hill High; Amanda Lumsden, Ephesus Elementary; Jennifer Martin; Shannon McGinnis, East Chapel Hill High; Nayani Mutucumarana, East Chapel Hill High; José Nambo, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; Eli Peich, Smith Middle; Sara Phillipson, Pre-K/Head Start; Shontette Richmond, Northside Elementary; Panda Rushing, Smith Middle; Stephen Simmons, McDougle Middle; Suzanne Smith, Smith Middle; Abby Steen, Smith Middle; John Street, Carrboro High; Jessica Wallace, Chapel Hill High; Corey Waters, Chapel Hill High; Roy Wilkins, Ephesus Elementary; Thea Wilson, Lincoln Center; and Lynda Womble, McDougle Elementary.

Employees with 10 years of service included: Channing Bennett, Glenwood Elementary; Lauren Boening, Morris Grove Elementary; Sarah Boone, Pre-K/Head Start; Christen Campbell, Chapel Hill High; John Carmichael, Chapel Hill High; Tony Carter, Smith Middle; Norma Centeno, Ephesus Elementary; Matthew Cone, Carrboro High; Clifton Copeland, Carrboro High; Jaslin Dais, McDougle Elementary; Kay Edwards, Lincoln Center; Kimberly Ellison, Ephesus Elementary; Chontanne Farrar, Transportation; Jose Ferrer, Seawell Elementary; Margaret Fonge, Phoenix Academy High; Carmela Gonzalez, Pre-K/Head Start; Diana Hamer, Lincoln Center; Spencer Hawkins, Smith Middle; Terra Hodge, Culbreth Middle; Shauna Jeffries, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; Catherine Kass, Estes Hills Elementary; Beth Kinney, Smith Middle; Brian Link, East Chapel Hill High; Mariella Mabe, Carrboro Elementary; Patricia Moore, Glenwood Elementary; Akiko Morrow, Transportation; Daniel Murphy, East Chapel Hill High; Mary Naylor, Northside Elementary; Tankia Neville, Estes Hills Elementary; Lisle Pearman, Northside Elementary; Emily Picquet, Scroggs Elementary; Jennifer Radzik, Lincoln Center; Luis Rodriguez, McDougle Middle; Tamara Smith, Pre-K/Head Start; Kimberly Sperry, Rashkis Elementary; Angela Tobon, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; Adam Watkins, East Chapel Hill High; and Eric Zeigler, Smith Middle.

Employees with five years of service included: Lilia Acero, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; David Antle, Chapel Hill High; Alejandra Arroyo-Martin, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; Christina Augustine, Carrboro High; Ajalyn Baker, Carrboro High; Rena Banks, Pre-K/Head Start; Dominick Barone, Chapel Hill High; Katie Beck, Glenwood Elementary; Anne Beichner, Chapel Hill High; Christopher Beichner, Carrboro High; Lorraine Bleeke, Chapel Hill High; Victoria Boylan, Morris Grove Elementary; Chelsea Brock, Seawell Elementary; Nyesha Brooks, McDougle Elementary; Sheila Bryan, Smith Middle; Evan Burnette, Ephesus Elementary; Vericka Bynum, Transportation; Timothy Campbell, Chapel Hill High; Samantha Carter, Scroggs Elementary; Una Cash, East Chapel Hill High; Juliana Chovil-Ladino, McDougle Middle; Meaghan Cole, Carrboro Elementary; Natasha Cross, FPG Bilingüe Elementary; Esther Devesa-Sanz, Carrboro Elementary; Paula Dey, Carrboro High; Elizabeth Diesel, Chapel Hill High; Margaret Dill, Rashkis Elementary; Kimberly Dougherty, McDougle Elementary; Whitney Dunlap, Northside Elementary; Brittany Egan, Phillips Middle; Abraham Faison, Lincoln Center; Hannah Ferguson, Morris Gove Elementary; Kelly Fox, Phillips Middle; Margaret Gallagher, Northside Elementary; Kyle Gamble, Rashkis Elementary; Barry Garrett, Northside Elementary; Amanda Birkin, East Chapel Hill High; Haley Grady, McDougle Elementary; Sally Greenway, McDougle Elementary; Jessica Gunderson, Smith Middle; Tyson Hallett, Carrboro Elementary; Monaliza Hanner, Lincoln Center; Kristen Harrington, McDougle Middle; Matthew Houser, Seawell Elementary; Ileana Herrera, East Chapel Hill High; Nancy Hilburn, Northside Elementary; Jonathan Howes, Smith Middle; Ko Htoo, Chapel Hill High; Aaron Ideus, Chapel Hill High; Jasmine Isaac, Estes Hills Elementary; Hannah Jennings-Murphy, Ephesus Elementary; Brad Johnson, Transportation; Michael A. Jones, Glenwood Elementary; Ashley Kellum, Pre-K/Head Start; Erica Kinney, Chapel Hill High; Jordan Kroll, Chapel Hill High; Gabriella La Mantia, McDougle Elementary; Elizabeth Landis, Carrboro High; TJ Laughrey, Glenwood Elementary; Latekka Lewis, Smith Middle; Anthony Little, Lincoln Center; Clare Matusevich, Chapel Hill High; Morgan May, Culbreth Middle; Dominique McAdoo-Ruffin, Chapel Hill High; Angela McChesney, Carrboro High; Tabitha McKean, Phillips Middle; Raisa McKenzie, Morris Gove Elementary; Roslyn Moffitt, Lincoln Center; Katherine Moorehead, Carrboro High; Kathy Nash, Morris Grove Elementary; Matthew Nedimyer, Culbreth Middle; Erika Newkirk, Lincoln Center; Tiffany Newsome, Rashkis Elementary; Rui Nie, Glenwood Elementary; Matthew North, Chapel Hill High; Sallie Nowacek, Culbreth Middle; Pattie Reid, Transportation; Bryant Rice, East Chapel Hill High; Cassandra Riggsbee, Ephesus Elementary; Stewart Riley, Chapel Hill High; Rhonda Roberts, Lincoln Center; Patrick Roeber, Chapel Hill High; Julia Royal, Chapel Hill High; Munirih Salazar-Centella, Rashkis Elementary; Theodore Sample, Phillips Middle; Jessica Schaul, Scroggs Elementary; Angie Schooff, McDougle Elementary; Sarah Serafin, Carrboro Elementary; Jill Shatterly, Estes Hills Elementary; Sarah Silberstein, Seawell Elementary; April Siler, McDougle Elementary; Melissa Sturdivant, Seawell Elementary; Elisabeth Suttee, Glenwood Elementary; Keshia Tiles, Northside Elementary; Ya Day Moo Wai, Phoenix Academy High; Julie Walker, McDougle Middle; Melissa Walton Chapel Hill High; and Yuman Wang, Glenwood Elementary.

CHCCS also honored two staff members who passed away during the 2020-21 school year: David Althaus, bus driver, Transportation; and Derrick Douglas, EC teacher, Estes Hills Elementary.

The annual Recognition Reception is hosted in collaboration with the Public School Foundation (PSF).

“Honoring and celebrating the staff of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools is one of my favorite things to do. Ever since I became a part of the CHCCS family and learning community, I’ve been so impressed with the fortitude, leadership and unwavering commitment to service that I’ve witnessed in our employees. I look forward to doing this in person soon. My first Recognition Reception is an opportunity to publicly say 'thank you' to the CHCCS staff for all they do and have done. Recognizing our amazing retirees, our hard working staff for years of service, and celebrating teaching chairs and other staff awards is a bright moment in any school year," said Superintendent Dr. Nyah Hamlett.  "With the challenges met and overcome in 2020-2021, I can't think of anything better than having a celebration to honor our hard working educators. Congratulations to everyone who was recognized and thank you for making a difference in the lives of our students and in our district.”

To see a recording of the virtual 2021 Recognition Reception, please click here.  To see the virtual program for the event, please click here.