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CHCCS Honors Principal, Assistant Principal, Teachers and Administrators of the Year

CHCCS Names Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year, Awards Central Office Administrator of the Year and Honors Two Teachers with Awards

On the morning of April 26, the Superintendent and the Community Relations Team met the Human Resources team to conduct a whirlwind Good News Tour, spreading balloons, plaques – and happy surprise announcements of annual recognitions.

At McDougle Elementary School, the blacktop was packed with most of their community, as students and staff awaited the appearance of Aisha Howard, who has been named 2022 Principal of the Year! The children reflected such delighted energy and anticipation, many of them holding up “Congratulations” signs. While Ms. Howard’s daughters and best friend watched on FaceTime, Superintendent Nyah Hamlett congratulated this incredible leader for her tremendous impact on her school and our district and thanked her for making McDougle Elementary School amazing!

Aisha Howard, McDougle Elementary School
Principal of the Year

At Carrboro High School, little did Lucas Paulsen know he was our final recipient of the day, winning the Assistant Principal of the Year Award. As students and staff looked on, Mr. Paulsen was joined by his wife Emily and three young children (who had been hiding in a conference room.) There was plenty of cheering, and some happy tears! He was nominated by multiple people, so the details of his excellent leadership were too numerous to share in full.

Lucas Paulsen, Carrboro High School
Assistant Principal of the Year

At Chapel Hill High School the Jeanette Blackwell Mentor Award was presented to math teacher, Emily Duncan. Principal Charles Blanchard and Assistant Principal Anna Hipps organized a group of Ms. Duncan’s students and colleagues in the courtyard to watch Russell Blackwell present the award named in his late wife’s honor. For more than 30 years, Mrs. Blackwell taught fifth grade and served as a school-based mentor, and then the district’s first elementary Peer Assistance and Review Consulting Teacher. Mr. Blackwell is active in the selection of this important award, and each year, he gives the recipient a hand-crafted silver “Blackwell Heart,” designed by his late wife. Ms. Duncan’s mentee, math teacher Erika King, enthusiastically shared in the celebration, and she said several times, “Emily is the BEST mentor!”

Emily Duncan, Math teacher, Chapel Hill High School,
Jeanette Blackwell Mentor Teacher Award
(left to right - Superintendent Nyah Hamlett; Erika King; Emily Duncan; Russell Blackwell)

In CTE Fashion Design teacher Emily Giardina's classroom at Carrboro High, she was recognized as the Promising New Teacher of the Year. She handled the many unexpected guests with grace, calm and a light-up-the-room smile. This award recognizes stellar first year teachers who have superior instructional skills which positively impact student learning. Ms. G was nominated because she allows all of her students to explore their creative sides while honing life skills like brainstorming, planning and organizing. She brings an incredible energy to inspire a new generation of fashion designers.

Emily Giardina, CTE Fashion Design teacher, Carrboro High School
Promising New Teacher Award

In addition to Tuesday’s school-based announcements, on April 22 staff members at Lincoln Center gathered for the announcement of the Award for Excellence in CHCCS District Administration. When it was time to announce the winner, Superintendent Hamlett announced, “This has been an anomaly year, and it turns out we have a tie!” First up was Executive Director of Elementary Schools, Tim Gibson, a leader who is very organized and extremely responsive to the needs of others and is especially supportive of our principals. Next winner was Director of Digital Learning and Libraries, Debby Atwater, who has carried the weight of COVID transition learning with grace and fortitude. She leads from the trenches and always works from a place of solution and collaboration, going above and beyond in all she does. She never says no when someone asks for something.

Tim Gibson, executive director of Elementary Schools and Debby Atwater, director of Digital Learning and Libraries
Central Office Administrator of the Year

Please join us in congratulating the recipients of five districtwide annual awards for 2022!

See photos from the prize patrol visits by visiting our social media, or click over to this page of our website. Be sure to read Dr. Hamlett’s Friday Community Update for more details and quotes on these remarkable honorees!

CHCCS will continue to honor staff members for a variety of awards and accomplishments at a June 6 recognition ceremony, to be held in-person at Carrboro High School. That evening, CHCCS will also announce its Teacher of the Year, the Mary Scroggs Award for Excellence in Providing Support Services and the School Support and Wellness Employee of the Year among many other awards and honors.

Photos: Principal, Assistant Principal, Teachers and Administrators of the Year!