Christy Johnson Jolly of Moravian Falls Elementary School is the Teacher of the Year and Jeffrey C. Johnson of Central Wilkes Middle School is the Principal of the Year for the Wilkes County Schools for 2019-20.
Their selections were announced Thursday night during the Wilkes County Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year Awards Dinner at the Stone Center in North Wilkesboro.
Wilkes School Superintendent Mark Byrd said Jolly creates a classroom culture of positivity, dynamic energy, student engagement and nurturing. He said she promotes a superior work ethic and is a leader among her colleagues.
Most importantly, he added, “she cares about each student and they know it.”
Byrd also stated that Moravian Falls Principal Shanda Adkins said Jolly is one of the best, if not the best, teachers she has observed.
Jolly is a graduate of Wilkes Central High School, attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro from 1998-1990 and graduated from Appalachian State University magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education and a minor in psychology in 1992. She received a master of arts degree in reading from Appalachian in December 1997, finishing summa cum laude with a 3.95 grade point average.
Jolly has National Board Certification in early and middle childhood-literacy/language arts.
She has additional training to work with students with reading disabilities, including training in reading methods through Orton-Gillingham Certification at Wingate University and multisensory methods through Wilson Reading Certification.
“During my career, I have been blessed to have worked with great administrators and teachers in Wilkes County,” said Jolly.
Principal of the year
Byrd said Jeffrey Johnson displays the important leadership quality of putting others first and approaches his work with a sense of calmness and confidence. He recognized Johnson for implementing the Leader in Me program at Central Wilkes.
Johnson has worked in the Wilkes schools since 2002 and as Central Wilkes Middle School principal since 2014, He implemented a sliding schedule for students and teachers to capitalize on prime learning times during the day and year.
Johnson also implemented a school wide weekly schedule for students in all grades to meet with teachers to focus on individual interests, with 38 options available. Examples include “Blackout,” where students sew door blinds to help keep students safe during a lockdown; “Hip Hop,” where students study the history of hip hop music and dance; and “Conspiracy Theory,” where students conspire and debate ideas of interest.
While principal of C.C. Wright Elementary from July 2011 to June 2014, he implemented the PBIS process and unified behavioral expectations.
He was North Wilkesboro Elementary principal from October 2008 to June 2011, and during that time applied for and received the Singapore Math grant for the school from Burroughs Wellcome Fund. This focuses on solving math problems through concrete, pictorial and abstract representations.
While assistant principal at East Wilkes Middle School from July 2007 to October 2008, Johnson developed a safety plan and flip charts for emergency situations. He also updated the bus drivers’ handbook and shared this with the district.
He was Mountain View Elementary assistant principal from July 2005 to June 2007.
He has served as council president for elementary and middle school principals.
Johnson has an associate in arts degree from Wilkes Community College, bachelor of science in elementary education from Lees-McRae College and a master’s in school administration degree from Gardner-Webb University.
In addition to Johnson, Wilkes Principal of the Year finalists recognized Thursday night were Dr. Kimberlee A. Stone of C.C. Wright Elementary, David Johnson of North Wilkes High, Heather Melton Freeman of North Wilkes Middle and Rodney J. Graham of Wilkesboro Elementary.
Christy Jolly was among six finalists for Wilkes Teacher of the Year announced Thursday night. The others were Abigail Pardue from East Wilkes High, Casey Joe Johnson from Mountain View Elementary, Justin A. Smith from North Wilkes Middle, Deanna Berrier from Traphill Elementary and Brandon Bell from the Wilkes Early College High School.
Other 2019-20 Wilkes Teacher of the Year nominees were Jenna Church from Boomer-Ferguson Elementary; Susan Wagoner, C.B. Eller Elementary; Alison Crouse, C.C. Wright Elementary; Kristin Ward, Central Wilkes Middle; Teresa Beshears, East Wilkes Middle; Gina Ortiz, Millers Creek Elementary; Wendy Welborn Dawson, Mount Pleasant Elementary; Ashley M. Kelley, Mulberry Elementary; Caitlin Wilson, North Wilkes High; LeAnn W. Lasiter, North Wilkesboro Elementary; Debbie Smith, Roaring River Elementary; Sheila Lester, Ronda-Clingman Elementary; Matt Taylor, North Wilkes High; Thelma Kastl, West Wilkes Middle; Ashton Nickles, Wilkes Central High; and Anita Louise Wingler, Wilkesboro Elementary.