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Todd honored as Pitt County Teacher of the Year

SAT. | 04-10-21 | NEWS

     On Wednesday, Mar. 24, Rose science teacher Clinton Todd was recognized as Pitt County Teacher of the Year. K-2 literacy teacher Denise Owens from Grifton School was named runner-up. The award was announced as part of a luncheon held at the Greenville Country Club where Todd was accompanied by Rose principal Monica Jacobson. 

     “There were four finalists this year and ... there was some great competition out there, but what I know about Mr. Todd is that he is just genuinely concerned about making sure that students get what they need,” Jacobson said. “He’s innovative, he makes sure that he works with all students and has high expectations for all students.”

     Now that he has won though, Todd wants to use this new platform to work towards his mission. 

     “My main values for my mission statement are to make sure that I create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere within my classroom and within the school with a focus on appreciating our diverse students and hopefully creating a situation where the diversity of our school is reflected in our classrooms,” Todd said.

     Being a teacher at Rose for the past 14 years, he has noticed some 


Photo contributed by Zachary Pomeroy

inequalities based on the structure of the current systems and hopes to work to improve upon the traditional structure to provide equal educational opportunities for all students.  

     “With our current model of having both standard and honors classes in almost all courses, we’ve created some divisions within the way our educational system works and it’s not just at Rose,” Todd said. “It is pretty much the traditional standard for the education system and it, in many cases, leads to creating systems of segregation within our schools.” 

     In his new role, Todd will take on new responsibilities including joining the Pitt County Educational Foundation’s Board of Directors where teachers of the year serve two year terms. Here, he will extend his advocacy work to be a voice not just for students, but also for teachers. 

     Once they had been chosen by their school, contestants were asked to prepare a video portfolio and had to undergo both a classroom observation and interview. 

     “After the video portfolio, they do a classroom observation and this year it’s unique because of course with COVID, a lot of our things are through Zoom, so Mrs. Cox actually, graciously, was their Zoom liaison, and she filmed me while we had class,” Todd said. “We were doing a forestry lab at that point in time, so they got to see us actually performing some data analysis.”

     The lab was part of one of Todd’s AP Environmental Science classes and allowed all-virtual students to be involved as well.  

     “They were actually doing a lab and he made sure that the students that were at home were able to recreate the materials that were needed to be able to participate in that lab along with the students that were face-to-face that day,” Jacobson said. “That’s an example of how he modifies his class for us being in this time of COVID, however, he ensures that he’s able to modify for students as needed even during a regular school year.” 

     Parents for Public School Executive Director Kylene Dibble has served on the teacher of the year selection committee for seven years now and was the parent representative on the seven-person committee this year.

     “The committee keeps in mind someone who can well represent Pitt County, and who relates well to both the community, the school and the students,” Dibble said. “Mr. Todd and Ms. Owens both have a wealth of passion for the job they do, and would certainly well represent our county.” 

     Now that Todd will be moving on to the regional competition, he will have to prepare a written portfolio and complete another interview. Teachers from across the state will be attending the regional competition and from there, a state and national competition will be held.

     “Be proud of your current accomplishment, and confident that you were chosen because of your passion and dedication for what you do,” Dibble said. “Let that drive you forward.”

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