Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year Award

The Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year Award was created in memory of Gerry D. Howell, long-time A+ Schools of North Carolina executive director and the inspiration behind the creative teaching and learning of countless educators, administrators and students across N.C. To honor her legacy, each year A+ Schools of North Carolina selects one dedicated A+ educator who best exemplifies these values of A+ Schools and its philosophies.

We believe a successful A+ educator:

  • challenges, motivates and inspires students by supporting a learning environment that is art-filled, creative, relevant, engaging and reflective;
  • is respected by peers, parents and students;
  • is caring and creative, seeking to enrich the lives of all students;
  • demonstrates a commitment to the arts, a collaborative spirit, leadership and flexibility;
  • has a dedication to life-long learning.

Pre-K through 12th grade classroom teachers, arts educators, special area teachers, special needs teachers, coordinators and administrators in active North Carolina A+ schools are eligible.  Educators may be self-nominated or nominated by their peers, administrators or supervisors. There is no minimum requirement for years of educational experience to be qualified for the Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year.

The Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year will serve for one school year as an ambassador of A+ Schools of North Carolina. (This ambassador role will vary according to the recipient’s availability.)  The recipient will be recognized on the A+ Schools website, in a press release and will receive a plaque as well as a variety of Crayola products for use in his/her school. Past recipients have been invited to attend the N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching’s (NCCAT) Teacher Leadership Institute in Ocracoke with other N.C. Teachers of the Year.

How to Apply

Educators who wish to apply for the Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year Award are asked to download the application guidelines and submit the following:

  1. Nominee application form.
  2. Letter of recommendation (by someone other than nominee) that addresses the A+ qualities exemplified by the nominee.
  3. Curriculum vitae/resume of no more than three pages.
  4. A first-person statement from the nominee on the value of learning through the arts, the importance of the A+ Essentials and philosophy, and what makes an outstanding A+ educator.Nominees should include how their beliefs are demonstrated in their personal teaching style (max. of 500 words).
  5. Written description of two or three of the nominee’s successful projects, lesson plans or other school-related efforts that embody and incorporate arts integration, collaboration and/or other A+ philosophies.Nominees are encouraged to provide photos, student work, videos or other visual materials to help demonstrate the success of their work.
  6. Two photos: a headshot of the nominee and an image that shows the nominee in action with students or other educators (both submitted as .jpg files).

Applications and supporting documents for the 2017 award must be submitted via email to and received no later than 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.  Following the selection process, the Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year Award winner will be announced at the spring quarterly A+ webinar on Thursday, May 4, from 4 to 5 p.m.

Past Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year Award Recipients

2016 – Amanda Gordon, Visual Arts Teacher at Diggs-Latham Elementary School, Winston-Salem

2015 – Alli George, Math Teacher at Reynolds High School, Winston-Salem

2014 – Carolyn Florence, 2nd Grade Teacher at Douglas Elementary School, Raleigh

2013 – Natalia Disney, Kindergarten Teacher at Douglas Elementary School, Raleigh

2012 – Christina Lohry, Dance Teacher at Benton Heights Elementary School, Monroe