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Top employees recognized at Evening of Excellence


Gaston County Schools honors outstanding educators
Wells Fargo presents annual Evening of Excellence ceremony

Gastonia, N.C. – Four employees captured the most prestigious awards presented by Gaston County Schools during the 2019 Evening of Excellence ceremony.  The program sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank was held Monday, May 6 at the Gaston Country Club.

South Point High School teacher Kody Kubbs was named the Wells Fargo Teacher of the Year, and Laura Dixon of W.A. Bess Elementary School earned the Wells Fargo Principal of the Year recognition.  They will represent Gaston County in the regional competitions for 2019-2020.  

Dan Barber of Gardner Park Elementary School received the Assistant Principal of the Year distinction, and Rebekka Powers, chief accountability officer, was named the Central Office Administrator of the Year.  

As longtime sponsor of the recognition program, Wells Fargo presented to the Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year a handcrafted Wells Fargo Bank Educator Apple and $1,250 to use for professional advancement.  Each Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year finalist received $250 to use for professional advancement.  

The Evening of Excellence ceremony served as the kickoff for Teacher Appreciation Week in Gaston County Schools.  The program pays tribute to the school system’s most outstanding teachers, administrators, and certified support staff for their exceptional leadership and many contributions.  The award nominees, finalists, and recipients are considered to be among the top public school employees in the state.

Superintendent of Schools W. Jeffrey Booker said, “The Evening of Excellence ceremony gives us an opportunity to bring attention to the extraordinary efforts of our teachers, administrators, and others, who go above and beyond expectations to inspire success and a lifetime of learning in our students.  We congratulate the award recipients and applaud all educators in Gaston County Schools for what they do every day to help children.”         

Booker added, “We would like to thank Wells Fargo for sponsoring this important employee recognition program again this year.  Wells Fargo is a significant community partner for Gaston County Schools, and we sincerely appreciate the bank’s continued support of the Evening of Excellence ceremony so we can honor our educators in a very special way.”

The awards ceremony will air on Spectrum Cable Channel 21 (the Education Station) the week of May 20-26 at 8:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. each day.  The ceremony will air at other times throughout the summer, and it will be available on the Gaston County Schools website and YouTube channel.

Below is biography information for each award recipient:

■ Gaston County Teacher of the Year

The 2019-2020 Gaston County Teacher of the Year is Kody Kubbs from South Point High School.  The award is presented by Wells Fargo Bank.


Kubbs teaches United States history at South Point and is the school’s basketball and cross country coach.  He is a graduate of Ohio Northern University with a bachelor’s degree in integrated social studies.  Kubbs has been a teacher for 12 years, and he previously taught at Belmont Middle School for four years.

■ Gaston County Principal of the Year

The 2019-2020 Gaston County Principal of the Year is Laura Dixon from W.A. Bess Elementary School.  The award is presented by Wells Fargo Bank.


A veteran educator with 32 years of experience, Dixon earned a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has been the principal at W.A. Bess for 10 years, and she previously served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal at Grier Middle School.

■ Assistant Principal of the Year

The 2019-2020 Gaston County Schools Assistant Principal of the Year is Dan Barber from Gardner Park Elementary School.

Barber has 15 years of experience in education.  He is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology, and he earned a master’s degree in education from Tufts University.  He previously served as an instructional facilitator at H.H. Beam Elementary School and the assistant principal at Woodhill Elementary School.  He has been at Gardner Park for two years.

■ Central Office Administrator of the Year

The 2019-2020 Gaston County Schools Central Office Administrator of the Year is Rebekka Powers, chief accountability officer.


Powers earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mars Hill College and a master’s degree in executive leadership studies from Gardner-Webb University.  She has 14 years of experience in education.  Powers previously taught at Southwest Middle School and John Chavis Middle School and served as an assistant principal at East Gaston High School.  Before being named the chief accountability officer last year, she served as a data integration specialist.

Click here for more information about our Evening of Excellence program.

 

VIDEO: Wells Fargo Evening of Excellence