Ceremony honors new teachers, teacher assistants

  • Gaston County Schools recognizes New Teacher and Teacher Assistant of the Year

    Whitney Marr of Robinson Elementary received the Linda Rader New Teacher of the Year recognition, and Belinda Lewis of Lowell Elementary earned the Teacher Assistant of the Year honor for 2023-2024. 

    During a ceremony on May 23 at the Schiele Museum, Gaston County Schools recognized 44 new teachers and teacher assistants for outstanding dedication and commitment to students.

    The New Teacher of the Year award is named for the late Linda Israel Rader, who began the school district’s professional development program for teachers.  The New Teacher of the Year award nominees included:

    • Chelsea Baines - Carr Elementary
    • Monica Ballard - Pinewood Elementary
    • Victoria Browne - Springfield Elementary
    • Elizabeth Cochran - Mount Holly Middle
    • Margaret Cushman - Forestview High School
    • Rachel Dawes - Gardner Park Elementary
    • Ashley Dennis - Sherwood Elementary
    • Jillian Dungan - Rankin Elementary
    • Mallory Gibby - Bessemer City Primary (finalist)
    • Kelly Gilbert - Highland School of Technology
    • Angelita Gonzalez - Belmont Central Elementary
    • Bailey Harper - Tryon Elementary
    • Noah Hartley - Hunter Huss High School
    • Jessica Haynes - W.A. Bess Elementary
    • Marie Hill - Bessemer City Central Elementary
    • Kassidy Jones - Stanley Middle (finalist)
    • Lee Kuveikis - Hawks Nest STEAM Academy
    • Cierra Lipscomb - Sadler Elementary
    • Whitney Marr- Robinson Elementary (winner)
    • Ashley McPherson - Cramerton Middle (finalist)
    • Jasmine Rompilla - Lowell Elementary (finalist)
    • Misty Sigmon - John Chavis Middle
    • Ashlyn Steelman - W.C. Friday Middle
    • Helen Waters - Page Primary
    • Ashlee White - Brookside Elementary
    • Sharon Williams - Lingerfeldt Elementary

    The Teacher Assistant of the Year award nominees included:

    • Anneke Armstrong - Page Primary
    • Beatrice Brown - Springfield Elementary
    • Jessica Gurganus - Gardner Park Elementary
    • Annette Hale - Cramerton Middle
    • Jenn Hartsell - Pinewood Elementary (finalist)
    • Robin Hensley - Bessemer City Primary
    • Minonne Howey - Brookside Elementary (finalist)
    • Angela Higgins - Hawks Nest STEAM Academy
    • Patricia Jeter - Carr Elementary (finalist)
    • Christi Jolley - Sherwood Elementary
    • Belinda Lewis - Lowell Elementary (winner)
    • Ashley Long - Cherryville Elementary
    • Sharon Markley - W.A. Bess Elementary
    • Kelly Mauldin - Rankin Elementary
    • Katherine Scarborough - New Hope Elementary
    • Courtney Shull - Tryon Elementary (finalist)
    • Jette Stroupe - Robinson Elementary
    • Scott Young - Stanley Middle (finalist)

    About the Winners
    Here is a look at what was said about the winners during the awards presentation:

    ▪ Linda Rader New Teacher of the Year - Whitney Marr, Robinson Elementary 
    Whitney Marr is an energetic, compassionate, and dedicated educator who truly cares for her students.  She uses engaging classroom experiences to captivate and motivate her students while also going above and beyond to reach every individual.  Marr’s positive attitude, love for her students, and willingness to help make her a respected and valued teacher.  Her goal is to make a difference in the lives of her students by providing them with amazing experiences and ensuring their success.

    ▪ Teacher Assistant of the Year - Belinda Lewis, Lowell Elementary
    Belinda Lewis is a positive, encouraging, and diligent teacher assistant who genuinely nurtures her students.  She consistently offers words of praise and support and is always ready to assist in any way possible.  Her dedication and caring nature benefit both staff and students.  Lewis exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding teacher assistant with her service, dedication, and heartfelt commitment to student success.

    The Gaston County Schools Human Resources Department coordinated the awards ceremony.  It was recorded for broadcast at various times this summer on Spectrum Cable Channel 21, which is the Education Station for Gaston County Schools.  The video is available on the Gaston County Schools website and YouTube channel.