Diggs-Latham teacher named A+ Educator of the Year

Amanda Gordon

Diggs-Latham teacher named A+ Educator of the Year
May 19
08:30 2016



A teacher in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System has been named Educator of the Year for North Carolina A+ Schools.

Amanda Gordon is the visual arts teacher at Diggs-Latham Elementary A+ Magnet School and A+ coordinator at the school. She also serves as the coordinator of the AIG (Academically or Intellectually Gifted) program.

As the recipient of the prestigious award, Gordon will serve as an ambassador for the A+ School pro-gram for the next school year.

The A+ Schools Program is the largest, longest running arts-based whole school reform effort in the nation. Since 1995, A+ Schools has been using the arts as a catalyst for creating connection and making school engaging, meaningful and enjoyable places to teach and learn.

Created in memory of longtime executive director The Gerry D. Howell, A+ Educator of the Year award recognizes an A+ educator who best exemplifies the values of the A+ Schools Program. A post on the program’s official website states, “Ms. Gordon’s approach to teaching represents true arts integration by incorporating standards from multiple subjects in her visual arts lessons.

“Not only do her students have a beautiful art product at the end of a unit, but they have experienced group collaboration, individual work time and even opportunities to write, sing, and dance about their work and subject matter.”

When she received word that she would be receiving the award, Gordon said she was at a loss for words. She said as a teacher, a lot of the work is done behind the scenes, so it’s nice to get some recognition.

“I was really excited,” she said. “It’s a state award so it’s a real honor to see my name and the school’s name publicized all over the state.”

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Gordon has spent her entire 12-year teaching career at Diggs-Latham. During a sit-down with The Chronicle, Gordon said the school operates like a family. She also noted since she has been at the magnet school located on Hutton Street, the arts have played a major role in helping improve student performance.

“Our arts team and specialist team have really grown over the years,” said Gordon. “The students here are really growing and I think the arts has had a lot to do with that.”

As the face of the A+ Schools Program, Gordon will receive $250 worth of classroom arts products donated by Crayola. Later this year, she will also attend NCCAT’s Teacher Leadership Academy with other statewide educators, and next spring Gordon will speak during the annual A+ Leadership Conference.

Even though she has received a number of awards and recognitions over the years, including valedictorian of her high school class, Teacher of the Year in 2011, a number of classroom grants, and several blue ribbons at local fairs, just to name a few, Gordon said the Gerry D. Howell award stands out because she feels she truly earned the honor.

“This award is some-thing that is truly earned,” she said. “With some of the other awards, someone chose me or I was nominated. This award was more about how I represent myself.”

When asked how she is able to connect with her students, Gordon mentioned growing up in a rural area, she has experienced a number of issues that her students may have. Gordon noted at an early age she developed the mindset that she could do anything that she put her mind to, and that’s what she passes along to her students.

“I want to inspire my students just like several teachers inspired me,” said Gordon. “I want to instill in them the drive and confidence to set goals and chase their dreams.”

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors