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Congratulations to Jesica Fitzgerald, Woodlawn Middle, 2019 ABSS Teacher of the Year!

Humbled and proud

Jesica Fitzgerald of Woodlawn Middle School smiles after being named the 2019 Alamance-Burlington Teacher of the Year at the 20th annual Excellence in Education Awards hosted by the Alamance Chamber at Elon University Tuesday, May 7.

Jessica Williams / Times-News

Jesica Fitzgerald of Woodlawn Middle School smiles after being named the 2019 Alamance-Burlington Teacher of the Year at the 20th annual Excellence in Education Awards hosted by the Alamance Chamber at Elon University Tuesday, May 7.

Woodlawn instructor named ABSS Teacher of the Year
By Jessica Williams, The Times-News 5/8/19     
Reprinted with permission.  

ELON — Jesica Fitzgerald is the Alamance-Burlington Teacher of the Year.

The Woodlawn Middle School instructor was honored Tuesday, May 7, during the 20th annual Excellence in Education Awards at Elon University, where Superintendent Bruce Benson and other local leaders celebrated the 40 teachers named as nominees, semifinalists and finalists.

“I’m speechless, humbled — very humbled,” Fitzgerald said. “This room is full of fabulous teachers, fabulous teachers. I’m proud to be a public school teacher. This is my 20th year teaching — 15 in ABSS. I’m proud of the teachers my children have. I’m proud to be acquainted with them. I’m proud of our students at Woodlawn. I hope that I can serve them proud.”

Fitzgerald was chosen from a group of eight finalists, all of whom underwent a rigorous interview process with a sixmember selection committee.

“When you begin with so many outstanding teachers, this is not an easy task,” Alamance Chamber Board Chair Lisa Pennington said.

Fitzgerald’s prize package:

  • $2,000 for Fitzgerald;
  • $1,000 for Woodlawn Middle School;
  • As much as $2,000 from Impact Alamance for Fitzgerald to attend a national conference of her choice;
  • The opportunity to travel abroad with Go Global NC;
  • Various gift cards and certificates;
  • A scholarship to Sylvan Learning Center to be redeemed by Fitzgerald’s family or to be designated to a student;
  • A membership to Alamance Citizens for Education’s Classroom Closet and a stocked supply cart; and
  • A one-year membership to the Alamance County Community YMCA.

Finalists received $1,000, funding from Impact Alamance to attend a state or regional conference of his or her choice, and a DonorsChoose.org gift card to support classroom needs. Semifinalists received $500. Nominees received $100. All winners received gift baskets from Chick-Fil-A.

Overall, prizes totaled $50,000.

Major event sponsors were the Alamance Community Foundation, American National Bank and Trust, Glen Raven Inc., Impact Alamance, LabCorp, Samet Corp. and the Smith Family Foundation. The annual event is hosted by the Alamance Chamber.

“I’m very grateful to be acknowledged,” Fitzgerald said. “We don’t always have an opportunity for that. So I appreciate everything that has and will come my way.”

She will move on to compete for Piedmont-Triad Region Teacher of the Year.