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When Teaching Runs in the Family
When Teaching Runs in the Family
Posted on 02/02/2021
Four new Teachers of the Year reflect on sharing the title with a family member.Featured Photos: 1. Bill Honey (upper left), Cindy Honey (upper right), Katelyn Braschler (lower left), and Jordan Braschler (lower right) are honored as Teachers of the Year at their respective schools. 2. Bill and Cindy Honey enjoy a day in the sun. 3. Katelyn and Jordan Braschler have been friends since middle school.

By: Benjamin Rickert
BCS Communications Dept.

Katelyn Braschler QuoteWhen new Teachers of the Year were announced for all Buncombe County schools in January, four realized they would need to share the title with a family member. Bill Honey of W.D. Williams Elementary and his wife of 26 years, Cindy Honey of Woodfin Elementary, were each chosen to represent their schools. Furthermore, Jordan Braschler of Clyde A. Erwin Middle was the winner at her school, along with her sister-in-law and friend of over 20 years, Katelyn Braschler of Pisgah Elementary.

The four accomplished teachers were chosen in separate voting processes held by educators at their schools. They were then celebrated as shining examples of teaching excellence through four separate surprise announcements. In reflecting on the shared title, both pairs shared that their family counterparts inspire them to be their best for students.

Bill and Cindy HoneyBill and Cindy Honey
Bill and Cindy Honey are playfully competitive at home and described their 26-year marriage as “wonderful.” Cindy teaches kindergarten and first grade at Woodfin Elementary, and Bill teaches third grade at W.D. Williams Elementary. On a Thursday evening, Mr. Honey shared the big news about his win at W.D. Williams with Cindy and their two daughters. The next day, Cindy was surprised with her equally big news while leading an online class at Woodfin.

“Cindy just couldn’t let me one-up her,” he joked. “She told me Friday she was Teacher of the Year at Woodfin.”

“When I told him, I think he thought I was teasing, because how does that really happen to two people at the same time?” she added. “Having this honor together just makes it even more special.”

The Honeys share a love for children and a desire to make a difference in their lives. At home, they frequently discuss teaching methods, share ideas, and compare viewpoints to better serve their students.

“She really is the one I get ideas from,” Mr. Honey said of his wife. “She is serious about education in the classroom and out. She lives, eats, and drinks education. We both talk about good ideas and strategies that work or don’t work.”

“Bill is an incredible educator,” Mrs. Honey said. “I learn so much from him and we really bounce ideas and strategies off of each other. It is like a constant [professional development session] at our house.”

During remote learning, the Honeys are finding unique ways to support each other, and are sometimes able to teach side-by-side. Cindy described a puppet show that Bill put on for her students, as well as times she joined in while his students read.

“I love being a teacher and he does, too,” Mrs. Honey said, “so much that it just sprinkles more love into our home because we both love our students and what we do each day.”

Jordan Braschler and Katelyn BraschlerJordan Braschler and Katelyn Braschler
Jordan and Katelyn have been friends since they were middle schoolers in Amarillo, Texas, more than 20 years ago. Jordan described her relationship with Katelyn as sister-like, but after high school their paths split ways. Katelyn went to college at West Texas A&M and took a teaching position in Amarillo, and Jordan went to Texas Tech and taught in Hawaii. Their paths reunited when Katelyn married Jordan’s brother. Both teachers now live closer to family in Buncombe County, with Jordan serving as a seventh grade science teacher at Clyde A. Erwin Middle, and Katelyn teaching first grade at Pisgah Elementary.

“We love to tease my husband and remind him that we were friends first,” Katelyn said.

Jordan and Katelyn were chosen as Teachers of the Year by their respective schools on the same day.

“The celebration was times two,” Katelyn said. “My husband reached out to our family to let them know that I had been surprised by my principal and a few colleagues at home that afternoon, and then a few hours later Jordan was surprised at soccer practice. Sharing this honor with her this year makes the experience that much more special.”

“Both sides of our families were thrilled as they are both packed with current and retired teachers,” Jordan added.

While they teach to different ages, the two find plenty of common ground as they discuss methods and their commitment to student growth.

“Both of us give 110 percent to our students. It is in our blood,” said Katelyn. “We have shared celebrations, struggles, and silly stories about our experiences in the classroom, and she’s one of the few that just ‘gets it.’”

In addition to family support, Jordan credits the teachers who surround her at Erwin, helping her give students the best education during a pandemic.

“There is no way I would have been considered for this title without my wonderful, hardworking, positive colleagues who keep me smiling and keep me going every day,” she said. “We have worked together to create cohesiveness and stability, and like the Microsoft commercial we have all seen — this year, every teacher is a Teacher of the Year.”

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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