O’Neal named RCS Teacher of the Year

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Jennifer O'Neal was recognized Thursday as the Richmond County Schools Teacher of the Year.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Jennifer O’Neal was recognized Thursday as the Richmond County Schools Teacher of the Year.

Principal of the Year: Dawn Terry
Assistant Principal of the Year: Steve Wood

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

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HAMLET — Jennifer O’Neal, of Ellerbe Middle School, was recognized as Richmond County Schools Teacher of the Year for the 2014-15 school year.

The award was co-presented Thursday at the annual convocation by Dr. Jeff Maples and Sherlyn Martinez, who in May completed her three-year stint at Ellerbe Middle School and will begin on Monday life as a freshman at the Ninth Grade Academy.

The event was held inside a packed Cole Auditorium on the campus of Richmond Community College. Dawn Terry, of Monroe Avenue Elementary School, was recognized as Principal of the Year. Steve Wood, of Richmond Senior High School, was named Assistant Principal of the Year.

“Congratulations to the best teacher ever,” said Martinez, who during the period of student remarks had singled out O’Neal as having had a positive effect on her academically and personally.

“We always need someone we can count on and trust,” Martinez said.

For her, O’Neal was that person.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Steve Wood, of Richmond Senior High School, was named Richmond County Schools Assistant Principal of the Year. He's pictured with Dennis Quick, executive director of auxiliary services.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Steve Wood, of Richmond Senior High School, was named Richmond County Schools Assistant Principal of the Year. He’s pictured with Dennis Quick, executive director of auxiliary services.

O’Neal, 31, was surrounded by her husband and children after the announcement was made. She was selected among 14 individuals who had previously been honored as teachers of the year at their respective schools. That select list included: Sue Smeigh, of Cordova School; Kate Murray, of East Rockingham Elementary; Andrea Haselhoff-McIver, of Hamlet Middle; Melissa Kirkland, of L.J. Bell Elementary; Kathy Sutton, of Mineral Springs Elementary; Gina Simmons, of Monroe Avenue Elementary; Gretchen Grooms, of Richmond Early College High; Heather Clemmons, of Ninth Grade Academy; Lerida Razon, of Richmond Senior High; Katherine Bendell, of Rockingham Middle; Barbie Wall, of Rohanen Middle; Pat King, of Washington Street Elementary; and Amy Allen, of West Rockingham Elementary.

Shortly after the conclusion of the 70-minute ceremony, O’Neal said “it hasn’t quite sunk in.”

“I’m ecstatic,” said the eighth grade science teacher entering her 10th year in education and ninth in Richmond County Schools. “I love working with kids. I love seeing them grow.”

O’Neal said the fact that Martinez helped to present the world “meant the world to me.”

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Dennis Quick presents Dawn Terry, of Monroe Avenue Elementary School, with the Richmond County Schools Principal of the Year award.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Dennis Quick presents Dawn Terry, of Monroe Avenue Elementary School, with the Richmond County Schools Principal of the Year award.

“I was just thrilled,” O’Neal said.

For the school year, O’Neal will be afforded the luxury of driving a new vehicle from Griffin Nissan. She said she planned to park the family’s Honda Odyssey for a while.

 

 

 

Filed in: Education, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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