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Ceremony honors new teachers, teacher assistants

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

Ryan Magill of Cramerton Middle School received the Linda Rader New Teacher of the Year recognition, and Catina Ford of Tryon Elementary earned the Teacher Assistant of the Year honor for 2022-2023. 

During a ceremony on May 24 at the Schiele Museum, Gaston County Schools recognized 49 employees 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:
Ansley Abernathy - Tryon Elementary
Katherine Byrd - Carr Elementary
Ashley Canestro - Lingerfeldt Elementary
Haley Carr - Rankin Elementary
Amy Cook - Pinewood Elementary
Rachel Dawes - Gardner Park Elementary
Mary Catherine Dellinger - Sadler Elementary
Taylor Detwiler - Holbrook Middle
Dharma Falls - North Belmont Elementary (finalist)
Jacqueline Farmer - Springfield Elementary
John Falkenberry - Mount Holly Middle
Lauren Harris - Belmont Central Elementary
Kaitlyn Hendrix - Chavis Middle
Terri Hughes - Page Primary
Anna Davis Lawing - Forestview High
Kaela Lipscomb - Grier Middle (finalist)
Kara Lofton - Hawks Nest STEAM Academy
Ryan Magill - Cramerton Middle (winner)
Chassidy Maiers - Brookside Elementary
Jamea Marlowe - Woodhill Elementary (finalist)
Charli Mims - Robinson Elementary
Lori Molina - Pleasant Ridge Elementary
Macy Rackley - Lowell Elementary
Hannah Robinson - South Point High
Janet Smith - W.A. Bess Elementary (finalist)
Christa Workman - Sherwood Elementary 

The Teacher Assistant of the Year award nominees included: 
Candace Branton - Hawks Nest STEAM Academy
Jeff Britton - Cherryville Elementary
Catherine Leah Brooks - Belmont Central Elementary
Catina Ford - Tryon Elementary (winner)
Brenda Ginyard - Pleasant Ridge Elementary
Lou Grigg - North Belmont Elementary
Kalah Grooms - New Hope Elementary
Brandy Guiton - Lowell Elementary (finalist)
Marilyn Hinton - Bessemer City Primary
Penny Mantecon - Sherwood Elementary (finalist)
Heather McCumber - Costner Elementary
Matt McGee - Bessemer City Central Elementary
Andrea Moore - Sadler Elementary (finalist)
Paige Royston - Robinson Elementary 
Janeen Silver - Carr Elementary
Patricia Sims - Catawba Heights Elementary
Tracy Small - W.A. Bess Elementary
Anita Smarr - Brookside Elementary
Danielle Starnes - Grier Middle
Pamela Stroup - Gardner Park Elementary
Jennifer Whiteman - Page Primary
Tonya Wiggins - Cramerton Middle
Crystal Wray - H.H. Beam Elementary (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 - Ryan Magill, Cramerton Middle School
“It is not uncommon to find Mr. Magill disguised in various costumes to not only show school spirit, but to also capture his students’ attention.  Whether it is playing the role of detective or a favorite Star Wars character, Mr. Magill always delivers his math lessons with an entertaining demeanor.  Students love the decorations Mr. Magill uses to get them excited about learning.  When the students were asked why Mr. Magill is great, they eagerly responded that he respects the whole class.  Not only does Mr. Magill give students a better understanding about math, he creates a fun and caring learning environment for all.” 

▪ Teacher Assistant of the Year - Catina Ford, Tryon Elementary School
“One would say the best way to describe Catina Ford is that she is very versatile.  By serving on the student success committee, she helps to find ways to support all students of Tryon Elementary.  Ms. Ford has served as the behavior lab assistant and now works as a kindergarten teacher assistant, leading small groups and helping all students meet their individual learning goals.  Ms. Ford has greatly assisted Tryon by supporting and working diligently with Spanish-speaking students and their families to ensure they feel part of the community.  This was accomplished by her efforts to learn the Spanish language and customs.  When others are experiencing challenging times in their personal life, Ms. Ford never hesitates to step in and support her colleagues.  Ms. Ford is known for giving her whole heart to her school and community. ”

Watch on TV
The Gaston County Schools Human Resources Department coordinated the awards ceremony.  It was recorded for broadcast on Spectrum Cable Channel 21, which is the Education Station for Gaston County Schools.  Airtimes are 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. the week of June 20-26.  The program will re-air the week of July 27 - July 3 at 10:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.