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NCCAT 2020 Prudential NC Beginning Teacher of the Year Award finalists announced

The following is a press release from North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT)

Teachers from across North Carolina have been selected as finalists for the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) 2020 Prudential NC Beginning Teacher of the Year Award in honor of their dedication, innovation, and ability to inspire students to achieve.

One of these talented educators will be named the 2020 Prudential NC Beginning Teacher of the Year. The award will be presented on April 15, 2021, at the NCCAT Cullowhee Campus.

“We appreciate the enthusiastic response from all over the state for the Beginning Teacher of the Year Award,” said NCCAT Executive Director M. Brock Womble. “These finalists provide a snapshot of the lasting impact great teachers have on our students from the first to the last day they step into a North Carolina public school. We are excited about this opportunity to honor teachers for the important work they do in our state.”

The NCCAT 2020 Prudential NC Beginning Teacher of the Year finalists are:

– Alexandra Allen, Wilkes County Schools

– David Babb, Clover Garden Schools

– Angela Baker, Richmond County Schools

– Laura Beirne Mulligan, Davie County Schools

– Sarah Bowman, Johnston County Public Schools

– Charlcy Carpenter, Cleveland County Schools

– Deanna Ciampa, Wilson County Schools

– LaKeia Colquitt, Guilford County Schools

– Imani Cooper, Weldon City Schools

– Megan Frager, Envision Science Academy

– Dessie Greene, Brunswick County Schools

– Schala Harper, New Hanover Schools

– Emilee Higdon, Macon County Schools

– Shanice Hill, Henderson County Public Schools

– Kate Horne, Thomasville City Schools

– Rebekah Lee, STARS Charter School

– Dalton Lewis, Ashe County Schools

– Robin Mehler, Asheville City Schools

– Alessandra Nysether-Santos, Pitt County Schools

– Makenna Pate, Rowan-Salisbury Schools

– Megan Piland, Northampton County Schools

– Tanesha Revels-Epps, Scotland County

– Kimberly Joy Robinson, Union County Public Schools

– Meredith Sumrell, Harnett County Schools

– Kelly Thigpen, Newton-Conover City Schools

– Michael Villanueva, Wake County Public Schools

– Sequita White, Clinton City Schools

More information about the program is online at

The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year prizes include:

The award winner receives – $5,000 cash prize, Participation in a GoGlobal NC trip, and Instructional supply funds for the teacher’s school

Runner-up receives – $2,000 cash prize

All finalists receive – Travel expenses to participate in NCCAT professional development and leadership development.


Increasing teacher effectiveness is fundamental to improving public education. NCCAT provides teachers with new knowledge, skills, teaching methods, best practices, and information to take back to their classrooms. For more information about NCCAT’s professional development programs, visit or call 828-293-5202.


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