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DeLana Parker named 2020 Teacher of the Year
DeLana Parker named 2020 Teacher of the Year
Posted on 09/10/2019
BCS Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin hands the 2020 BCS Teacher of the Year trophy to DeLana Parker.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

Congratulations to DeLana Parker, the 2020 Buncombe County Schools Teacher of the Year!

After a months-long selection process, the teacher-led BCS Teacher of the Year Committee chose Ms. Parker, a sixth-grade English language arts and social studies teacher at Charles T. Koontz Intermediate School, to represent the district as she competes for Western Region Teacher of the Year. The winner of that title will become a finalist for the North Carolina Teacher of the Year.

“I’m very honored,” Ms. Parker said, “because I know what amazingly talented teachers I was selected to represent.”

BCS Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin made the announcement during the annual Teacher of the Year Banquet at Céline and Company in downtown Asheville on Sept. 10. Tammy Jones, co-host of The Morning Mix with Tammy and Kipper on Mix 96.5, emceed the program, and 2019 BCS Teacher of the Year J.B. Halpin delivered the keynote address.

“This is such a difficult decision to make each year, because we have so many amazing teachers,” Dr. Baldwin said. “They all aim to innovate and advance their skills so our students can get the best education and reach their full potential.”

“When it comes to teaching, sometimes less  is more, and ... it’s OK  to have fun.” - DeLana Parker, 2020 BCS Teacher of the Year, Charles T. Koontz IntermediateThe banquet honored all seven District Teachers of the Year with video vignettes. Linda Adams, niece of venerated Clyde A. Erwin High School teacher Ruth Henderson, introduced the Ruth Henderson Award, which honors an altruistic teacher whose light shines for every student and gives of themselves unselfishly. This year's recipient was Erwin High English teacher Tiffany Wooten.

The selection process for the Buncombe County Schools Teacher of the Year includes a portfolio, interviews, classroom observations, and a prepared speech presentation. Ms. Parker’s Teacher of the Year bid focused on the importance of respecting student voices and building relationships.

“Educators have the incredibly important tasks of helping young people navigate a world that is increasingly complicated, learn the curriculum for the year they teach so students can succeed in the next, helping them become quality citizens who respect one another, and to stay calm under academic pressure,” she said. “I want to carry the message that, when it comes to teaching, sometimes less is more and, also, that it’s ok to have fun.”

In addition to Ms. Parker, the Teacher of the Year finalists were Caroline Ayers, of Charles D. Owen Middle School; Rebecca Reeves, of Fairview Elementary School; Beth Meyers, of Pisgah Elementary School; Rebecca Hefner, of Buncombe County Early College; Leslie Anderson, of Joe P. Eblen Intermediate School; and Aubrey Cripps, of North Windy Ridge Intermediate School.

Thanks to our sponsors, Pierce Group Benefits, the Buncombe County Schools Foundation, and Lifetouch. Thanks to Becky’s Florist for providing floral arrangements and to Biltmore for providing gift baskets for award winners.

The video below features this year's seven District Teachers of the Year. You can also like and share the video on Facebook.

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