Stokes County resident Amanda Gordon recently received the 2016 Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year Award as part of the A+ Schools Program for her teaching at Diggs-Latham Elementary A+ Magnet School in Forsyth County.
Gordon was previously nominated for the award in 2014 and 2015 and teaches visual arts.
The A+ Schools Program focuses on the integration of performances, exhibits, and portfolios into Common Core while keeping eight essential elements in mind. The eight essential elements include arts, curriculum, experimental learning, multiple intelligence, enriched assessments, collaboration, infrastructure, and climate.
“As always competition for this prestigious award demonstrates the high quality educators we have across the A+ network. She is doing a great job of keeping her school connected and engaged with A+,” said Michelle Burrows, director of the North Carolina A+ Schools Program.
As part of her award, Gordon will serve as ambassador for the A+ Schools Program for the upcoming academic year and will attended the North Carolina Teacher of the Year Leadership Institute hosted by the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching at the center’s eastern campus on Ocracoke Island. At the institute, Gordon will give a speech at the Spring Leadership Meeting.
In addition to the duties and responsibilities that come with the award, Gordon also received a plaque and $250 worth of classroom art supplies donated by Crayola.
“I was so honored and surprised to receive the Educator of the Year Award for North Carolina A+ Schools. The announcement was made at a webinar in front of teachers, administrators and other A+ school personnel all over the state. It is very humbling to be chosen to receive this award among hundreds of other A+ teachers who work hard every day. From watching mentors throughout my life, the Arts, teaching, and a heart for service has become a way of life for me. It feels only natural to give back while so many others have done the same in my life. However, it is still an honor to receive such a recognition and have my hard work and dedication awarded,” Gordon said.
Over the summer, Gordon taught at the visual arts camp hosted by the Stokes County Arts Council at Mount Olive Elementary School. She serves as the board secretary for the arts council, as well as the chairperson of the Visual Arts Committee.
Gordon has taught visual arts for the past 13 years, having been named teacher of the year at Diggs-Latham Elementary A+ Magnet School in 2011 and is also a National Board Certified Teacher.
When she’s not teaching or fulfilling her duties at the Stokes County Arts Council, Gordon exhibits her art at the Apple Gallery and the Hanging Rock Gallery.
The educator graduated from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro with a bachelor of fine arts in studio art education.
The Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year Award was created to honor the memory of the prolific executive director of the A+ Schools Program, Gerry D. Howell.
Gordon explained that Howell continues to serve as an inspiration for creative learning and teaching methods of teachers and administrators throughout North Carolina.
According to Gordon, the award is given to an A+ Schools educator who best exemplifies the program’s values, including dedication to life-long learning, demonstrates a commitment to the arts, is caring and creative, respected by peers, parents and students, and challenges, motivates and inspires students by supporting a learning environment that is art-filled, creative, relevant, engaging and reflective.
Aila Boyd may be reached at 336-415-2210.