- Union County Public Schools
UCPS announces 2020 Teacher of the Year finalists
Every year, Union County Public Schools (UCPS) recognizes a teacher who is not only dedicated and capable of inspiring students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, but also establishes an environment that is conducive to the pursuit and achievement of academic excellence.
Ten UCPS Teacher of the Year finalists have been selected from a pool of 53 school-wide Teachers of the Year.
On Jan. 27, UCPS Superintendent Dr. Andrew Houlihan, Cabinet staff and Board of Education members revealed the names of the 10 UCPS Teacher of the Year finalists by visiting the teachers at their schools. The winner will be announced at the annual Teacher of the Year banquet on April 28.
Congratulations to the following Teacher of the Year finalists:
Lindsey Weycker – Cuthbertson High
Lindsey Weycker is an English teacher at Cuthbertson High. A graduate of UNC Charlotte and Gardner-Webb University, she has been an educator since 2005. Lindsey believes teaching students to value the written and spoken word can help them grow as individuals. Her classroom culture is centered around helping students develop the skills needed to think, read, listen and speak critically.
Dareion Malone – Marvin Ridge High
Dareion Malone is a choral music teacher at Marvin Ridge High. A graduate of Rust College and UNC Charlotte, Darieon has been an educator since 2013. In his classroom, Dareion helps students sharpen their leadership skills through a structure designed to include student voice in their learning experience and music curriculum.
Coleen Owens – Health Sciences Academy at Monroe Middle
Coleen Owens is an eighth grade Language Arts teacher at the Health Sciences Academy at Monroe Middle. A graduate of Hunter College, she has been an educator since 2011. In her classroom, Coleen works to create a environment for students that promotes thinking and encourages them to make choices in their learning experience.
Tiffany Medford – Piedmont High
Tiffany Medford is a studio arts teacher at Piedmont High. A graduate of Western Carolina University, she has been an educator since 2001. In her classroom, Tiffany helps students build networking opportunities, share their work and learn new skills. She hopes her lessons will help students uncover hidden talents that will encourage them to seek new opportunities and potential hobbies in the future.
Ashley Puscheck – Prospect Elementary
Ashley Puscheck is a fourth grade teacher at Prospect Elementary. A graduate of UNC Charlotte, she has been an educator since 2013. In her classroom, Ashley encourages her students to have a growth mindset, uplifts and reminds them of their leadership qualities, and encourages collaboration.
Christina Worrall – Sandy Ridge Elementary
Christina Worrall is a fifth grade teacher at Sandy Ridge Elementary. A graduate of Elon University, Christina has been an educator since 2005. In her classroom, Christina builds relationships with students and encourages them to build relationships with each other. She also allows students to be a part of decision-making processes and finds extension activities to grow students at every level.
Erika Murray – Sardis Elementary
Erika Murray is a kindergarten teacher at Sardis Elementary. A graduate of UNC Wilmington, she has been an educator since 2013. In her classroom, Erika says she prioritizes students’ emotional wellbeing, helps students learn the value and importance of hard work, and creates an environment that fosters free expression, creativity and innovation.
Kimberly Castner – Stallings Elementary
Kimberly Castner is a fourth grade teacher at Stallings Elementary. A graduate of the College of William and Mary and University of Phoenix, Kimberly has been an educator since 2013. In her classroom, Kimberly strives to make learning interactive and engaging while encouraging students to use creativity as often as possible.
Jenna Sweet – Weddington Middle
Jenna Sweet is an AIG teacher at Weddington Middle. A graduate of Keene State College, Jenna has been an educator since 2013. Jenna believes students thrive in an environment built upon respect and meaningful relationships. In her classroom, Jenna says she creates an inclusive atmosphere of risk-taking, goal–setting and differentiation.
Martin Hughes – Western Union Elementary
Martin Hughes is a fifth grade teacher at Western Union Elementary. A graduate of the University of Dundee and University of Strathclyde, Martin has been an educator since 2012. In his classroom, Martin uses feedback from students to personalize lessons, encourages students to see their learning through a global lens and builds strong relationships with his students.