GREENSBORO, N.C. — School might look different during a pandemic, but some things don't change, like honoring educators making a difference in students' lives.
Guilford County Schools honored one of its top teachers on Tuesday, naming Oak Hill Elementary 4th grade teacher Ebonie Jones as the 2020-2021 GCS Teacher of the Year.
“Ebonie is the epitome of the forward-thinking, resourceful, intelligent, innovative and loving teacher that every child is deserving of in classrooms throughout our district, state and country,” Superintendent Sharon Contreras said during the event. “She works tirelessly to meet the needs of her students, yet she does not see herself as a savior.”
Jones has been a teacher for the past eight years and currently teaches English and language arts. She's known since she was young she wanted to be an educator.
“I had wonderful examples of what a master teacher should be, and I have always hoped that I could impact as many students’ lives as my former teachers have,” Jones said. “My philosophy is that all students can learn given the appropriate supports.”
In addition to her work in the classroom, Jones is a champion for new teachers and students with disabilities.
“For students with disabilities, inclusion is a right. As effective teachers, we must keep in mind that inclusion is not a privilege nor a reward for our North Carolina students. Providing effective instruction in the least restrictive setting is not just the right thing to do – it is the law,” Jones said.
Jones will go on to compete at the regional level in the Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year process.
Other district-level winners, including counselor of the year, rookie teacher of the year, mentor of the year, assistant principal of the year and principal of the year, will be announced on Oct. 9.