Chatham County Schools recognizes yearly award winners, nominees

Posted 10/18/19

PITTSBORO — The beginning of a new school year is, for Chatham County Schools, at least, an opportunity to recognize those who worked in excellence the previous year.

During the last two …

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Chatham County Schools recognizes yearly award winners, nominees

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PITTSBORO — The beginning of a new school year is, for Chatham County Schools, at least, an opportunity to recognize those who worked in excellence the previous year.

During the last two meetings of the Chatham County Board of Education, district staff and Superintendent Derrick Jordan took time to announce and applaud several award winners and nominations.

On Monday night, Jordan-Matthews High School Principal Tripp Crayton was honored as the district’s Principal of the Year. While holding his infant son, Crayton thanked his wife and family.

“As a principal, it’s a tough job, working many hours,” he said. “We’ve got a great core of principals over here. But you can’t beat it. I’ve been very proud to be a Chatham County principal. I’m extremely honored to be selected as Principal of the Year.”

Jordan congratulated Crayton and recognized all the district principals in attendance — most were in the courtroom in Pittsboro, where both meetings took place — for their work. October is designated as National Principals Month.

“The job is absolutely a thankless job,” Jordan said. “But I can say we don’t have a principal that isn’t fully committed to our students and to me that is the biggest indicator of potential success for our students. Our kids are absolutely better because of your leadership.”

Jordan also recognized two other educators on Monday. North Chatham Elementary School’s Eva Membreno, who teaches fifth grade, was named the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM) Outstanding Elementary School Mathematics Teacher for 2018-2019.

“I’m very thankful to God for putting me here,” Membreno said. “There’s a reason why I’m here. Thank you for all the support. This is not something we can do on our own. It’s not something a human person can do on their own.”

Maddie Allsup of Virginia Cross Elementary was also honored as the district’s Exceptional Children’s Educator of Excellence.

The district and school board also honored other individuals during the board’s September 9 meeting.

Chatham Central High School history teacher Amy King was named one of the 15 finalists for the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History National History Teacher of the Year. She did not win the national award but was given the state level honor.

“We don’t often get recognized,” King said at the September meeting, speaking of history teachers. “So it’s really awesome that they do that across the country. I think teaching’s a calling. It’s not something you choose. I’m very thankful that I get to teach every day here in Chatham County.”

Robbie Sirls of J.S. Waters School was named as the district’s Instructional Assistant of the Year. Jordan said Sirls’ work with not just the students but the school’s Junior Beta Club was worthy of recognition.

“We are so appreciative of the time she gives to ensure that the students at J.S. Waters are exposed to things beyond the classroom,” Jordan said. “We expect for her to put the full 30 (years) in and keep going on right past 30.”

Finally, Siler City Elementary School 3rd-grade teacher Sarah Threatt was the district’s inaugural nominee for the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teacher Beginning Teacher of the Year Award. She was honored during the board’s Sept. 9 meeting.

“She learned very quickly the importance of being well planned each day and the need for positive and productive relationships with all of her students,” Larry Savage, principal at Siler City Elementary, said in a district press release. “She also found the balance between seeking and receiving help from her teammates and bringing her own ideas into her classroom. All of these attributes led to outstanding student learning.”

Jordan helped honor Threatt for the award during the first day of school in August.

“I was so excited to on the first day of school tap her for this inaugural award,” he said. “To have been selected for this honor further indicates how strong Ms. Threatt is in the classroom.”

Reporter Zachary Horner can be reached at or on Twitter at @ZachHornerCNR.


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