For the second year running, a Union County Public School teacher has been chosen as the Southwest Regional Teacher of the Year.
David Dahari, a science teacher at Marvin Ridge High School, has been chosen as the 2010 Southwest Regional Teacher of the Year, seven months after being chosen as the 2009-2010 Union County Public Schools teacher of the year.
The announcement was made Friday, December 18, 2009, during an impromptu assembly at his school, called at the last minute to make the surprise announcement. Dahari, who was kept in the dark that he had won, got a standing ovation from a packed gym filled with staff, students and various school and elected officials.
â€œMr. David Dahari truly exemplifies all those qualities we look for in the brightest and best of our teachers today,â€ said UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis. â€œTeaching is a very noble profession. Itâ€™s a difficult and rewarding job. He embraces it with a spirit of enthusiasm that is rarely matched.â€
Davis called Dahari â€œa fine young man who is such a fine ambassador and excellent representative of the Union County Public Schools and the teaching profession in general.â€
â€œI am so pleased and excited,â€ said an obviously stunned Dahari, who then thanked his fellow teachers for their support of their students and of him. He also thanked Bill Cook, his principal, and the schoolâ€™s administration for their roles.
â€œThe principals and the administration have an agenda to carry out for this school thatâ€™s in your best interest,â€ he said to students during the assembly. â€œItâ€™s very hard to maintain that agenda; yet at the same time, give teachers the freedom to be who they are inside every classroom. I feel like one of the reasons that Iâ€™m able to teach the way that I teach is because the administrators give me that opportunity. I can have fun and we can all learn together; and every day is a big learning experience.â€
Dahari also thanked his students for their dedication and hard work, and told them how important they are to him. â€œAside from my wife, Brandi, and my kids, everything I do is for the students in this room. I think about you guys all the time. I care about you and I appreciate the amount of care and attention that you give to me and physics and chemistry, and to each other in the classroom. Thank you very much for making me feel that way. Itâ€™s the reason Iâ€™m here right now.â€
Last yearâ€™s Southwest Regional Teacher of the Year and this yearâ€™s AT&T North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Jessica Garner, said she was pleased that a Union County teacher is keeping the regional title in Union County.
â€œIâ€™ve had the pleasure of working with Mr. Dahari on a couple of occasions, and I was on the interview team that interviewed him for the county teacher of the year,â€ Garner said when announcing his win to the audience. â€œCongratulations. Iâ€™m so excited for you.â€
The Southwest Region includes the public school systems in Anson, Cleveland, Lincoln, Cabarrus, Gaston, Union, Stanly and Mecklenburg counties, along with Kannapolis City Schools.
For winning the regional title, Dahari will be given the opportunity to present at local and state programs, attend a national professional conference with all expenses paid, and serve on various state and regional committees, including the State Superintendentâ€™s Teacher Advisory Council.
Prior to winning the regional title, Dahari was chosen as the 2009-10 UCPS Teacher of the Year, after winning the same title on a school level. He will now go on to compete on the state level, which will be held in Raleigh in the spring of 2010.