by Jenny Downey
As this year comes to a close, SMSgt. Anthony Kelly will be ending his time as TC’s teacher of the year (TOY). Taking over the role science teacher David Pizzolato has already been chosen by the staff of the school to be next year’s school TOY representative.
Pizzolato has been at Roberson for 21 years and has been in education 25 years total. He has never been a teacher of the year at TC, but was once before at Bossier High School in Louisiana.
“I feel greatly honored by this nomination, and I will try to live up to it and represent the school in the best way I can,” Pizzolato said.
Faculty and staff members vote on a teacher of the year for their individual school and then s/he puts together a portfolio and compete at the district level. Winners can continue to regional, state and even national teacher of the year contests.
“I’m glad he won teacher of the year. I really liked his teaching style, and I feel like he really helped me prepare for my exam,” sophomore Geneieve Kopp said.
Pizzolato received a $200 reward for his teaching skills and will have his name added to the other recipients in the trophy case at the front of the school. North Carolina Regional teachers of the year are awarded $5,000 along with many other honors. NC teachers of the year receive $7,500, the use of a state vehicle for one year, and are asked to travel and demonstrate their teaching skills.
During the year of recognition, the national teacher of the year is released from classroom duties to travel nationally and internationally as a spokesperson for the teaching profession. Teachers must complete multiple steps to become a national teacher of the year which includes having to write eight essays.
Between February and August, each school selects its teacher of the year and by September portfolios are turned in to the level representatives and selection committee. In October and November, portfolios will be assessed and in December regional teachers of the year will be announced.
In the 40 years of the program in North Carolina, three state teachers of the year have become national winners. Four have become national finalists and one has been inducted into the National Teachers’ Hall of Fame. There have been nine teachers from western NC to become the state TOYs including the current one, Darcy Grimes.