Friday, 02 October 2020 17:08

Angela Baker named Richmond County Schools’ Beginning Teacher of the Year

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Angela Baker named Richmond County Schools’ Beginning Teacher of the Year Richmond County Schools

ELLERBE — Angela Baker, a seventh-grade English Language Arts teacher at Ellerbe Middle School, has been named Richmond County Schools’ 2020-2021 Beginning Teacher of the Year.


“I’m so tickled and overwhelmed,” Baker said of the announcement.

The Beginning Teacher of the Year recognition - an opportunity through the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCAT) - was developed to honor beginning teachers and to retain teachers who show promise as excellent teachers and education leaders in North Carolina public schools and public charter schools.

Principals were asked to nominate a teacher from their school from a list of eligible beginning teachers. The nominees then held interviews and submitted essays at the district level.

In Baker’s essay, she stressed the importance of building relationships with her students.

“When students feel that you truly care about who they are as people and their future, they will want to grow and learn,” her essay reads in part. “I can’t just let them know I believe in them; it’s my job to make them believe in themselves. I reiterate to the students to give it their best, nobody is perfect and that everyone has their strengths and struggles. I do this by allowing them to see my struggles. I want them to see that even though I am a teacher, I am not perfect and that I still have room to grow as well. When I allow them to see me as a human being and not some authoritative figure, they will do anything I ask because they know that I am always in their corner.”

There to present Baker with her award was Superintendent Dr. Jeff Maples, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Dr. Julian Carter, Executive Director of Curriculum Dr. Kate Smith, Beginning Teacher Coordinator and Director of K-5 Math and Science Talia Swiney and Ellerbe Middle School Principal Melvin Ingram.

“If I had to use one word to describe Mrs. Angela Baker as an educator, the word would be ‘passionate’,” said Ingram. “She is motivated by student growth and achievement through English/Language Arts. She will serve as a powerful county advocate for the field of education from the perspective of a Beginning Teacher. I’m honored to serve with her at Ellerbe Middle School.” 

Baker said the announcement is a huge honor and that she’s proud to work for Richmond County Schools.

“First I would like to say thank you to everyone,” said Baker. “I knew at the recruitment weekend there is not another district I would rather work for. I am the teacher I am today in large part to the BT support that I have received since having the opportunity to work for Richmond County Schools. I love my district, EMS, and my team. The support I receive is amazing and second to none!”