grad Brian Freeman wins NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence
D.C. - One day second grade teacher Tommy O'Briant (Brian) Freeman II
played the Nutty Professor, and another day he played Little Red Riding
Freeman, who works
at Peterson Elementary School in Red Springs, is the recipient of the
National Education Association's (NEA) 2003 NEA Foundation Award for
Teaching Excellence. The NEA is the nation's largest teacher association.
The award was presented
at the 9th Annual Salute to Excellence in Education Gala that was held
on December 11 in Washington, DC. The prize was worth $25,000.
A 1992 graduate
of UNC Pembroke, Freeman challenges his second graders to learn while
he creates magical, high-energy settings.
"I will do
whatever it takes to make sure my students are inspired to learn and
challenged to excel," he said.
his classroom activities to reach students' learning styles. Any one
lesson may involve reading, drawing, singing, writing and even dancing
He has received
several awards for outstanding achievement and community involvement,
including the 2002 National SDE (Staff Development for Educators) Second
Grade Teacher of the Year. For this award, his students designed a homemade
quilt depicting symbols from their hometown, county and state for First
Lady Easley. The quilt is now on loan to the North Carolina Museum of
Freeman was also
District Teacher of the Year, a state finalist honor for the Presidential
Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, and he won North
Carolina's Jiffy Lube Teaching Excellence Award. He was listed as one
of the top 40 teachers in the nation by USA Today two times.
"The most important
role a teacher plays in the community is that of ambassador for public
education," Freeman said. "I owe my success as a classroom
teacher and leader to the NEA and its affiliates."
A former president
and two-term treasurer of the Robeson Association of Educators, Freeman
was awarded NCAE's highest honor, the Terry Sanford Award for Creativity
in Teaching and Administration. He is also a town commissioner in Red
UNCP GRADS IN
- Jamie Darian
Brown, a 1998 graduate, was recently voted Teacher of the Year at
North Moore High School, where he teaches language arts and writing.
He received $2,100 and a laptop computer. Brown earned his National
Board Certification in 2003.
- Tracie Taylor,
a 1992 graduate, was named N.C. High School Girl's Basketball Coach
of the Year. Taylor is a former standout player for UNCP. She is the
girl's basketball coach at 71st High School in Fayetteville, which
won the 2003 state championship.
- Kay Thompson,
a 1989 graduate, was named Teacher of the Year for Brunswick County.
She teaches fifth grade at Waccamaw Elementary School. She began teaching
15 years ago.
- Felicia Hunt,
a 1988 graduate and teacher at Purnell Swett High School, was named
Robeson County's Teacher of the Year for 2003-2004. Hunt has been
a marketing teacher since 1995.
- John D. Bryant,
a 1985 UNCP graduate, earned National Board Certification in Young
Adult Science/Chemistry in 2002. He is the only National Board Certified
teacher in the Richmond County Schools.
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