Cary Chamber Honors Dedicated Teachers

Cary, NC – In an era with increasing reliance on technology and machines, so much of society is still dependent on people having a good head on their shoulders. And the Cary Chamber of Commerce celebrated those teachers who make sure the next generation knows how to think.

Excellence in Teaching

The Cary Chamber’s annual “Honor a Teacher” event honored teachers from Western Wake County and rewarded their hard work to impact the lives of students. At Booth Amphitheatre on Monday, May 9, 2016, 28 teachers from elementary, middle and high schools in the area were recognized.

“One of the most critical needs of Wake County schools is that of attracting and retaining the best classroom teachers. With our Honor a Teacher Program, we hope to help our school system in meeting that challenge,” said Allison Wrenn, vice president of education and finance at the Cary Chamber.

Wrenn said excellence is easy to spot. “We know it when we see it,” Wrenn said. “It can be the teacher who spends extra time with the students who need it most or the teacher who is creative enough to inspire a real love of learning in a student. Perhaps it’s a teacher who cares enough to be involved with his or her students beyond the classroom.”

Each teacher who was honored at the event also received a check for $1000 with a sponsoring company attached.

Some of the teachers who received awards as part of the Cary Chamber's "Honor a Teacher" event

Some of the teachers who received awards as part of the Cary Chamber’s “Honor a Teacher” event


Excellence in Teaching Award

  • Jaclyn Englert, Carpenter Elementary
  • Paige Laug, Cedar Fork Elementary
  • Jennell Little, Alston Ridge Elementary
  • Marie Logue, Turner Creek Elementary
  • Gina McMahon, Green Hope Elementary
  • Piper Suggs, Davis Drive Elementary
  • Renee Vessels, Adams Elementary
  • Heather Whalen, Weatherstone Elementary
  • Rachel Gates, Davis Drive Middle
  • Michelle Racioppo, Mills Park Middle
  • Justin Carrington, Green Hope High

Clara Knoll Award for Excellence in Teaching Award

  • Christina Heir, Morrisville Elementary

Jordan Family Excellence in Teaching Award

  • Molly Gagliano, Kingswood Elementary

Champion of Literacy Award

  • Michelle Palmer, Northwoods Elementary
  • Kristie Strader, Briarcliff Elementary

Character Development Award

  • Ashli Hastings, Laurel Park Elementary
  • Linda Noble, Mills Park Elementary

Leadership in Teaching Award

  • Kurt Glendenning, Cary High
  • David Snively, Cary Academy

Power in Teaching

  • Brenda Robinson, Cary Elementary

Teaching Excellence Award

  • Kate Herrema, Farmington Woods Elementary

Outstanding Educator Award

  • Madonna Fitzgerald, Highcroft Drive Elementary

Civic Education Award

  • Diane Daughtry, Reedy Creek Elementary

Discovery Award

  • Lauren Haynie, East Cary Middle

Values in Education Award

  • William Smalls, Reedy Creek Middle

Excellence in Math and Science Award

  • Brenda Druck, West Cary Middle

Technology in Teaching Award

  • Danielle Taweel, Panther Creek High

Coach of the Year Award

  • Nathaniel Blalock, Panther Creek High

Story by staff reports. Photos courtesy of the Cary Chamber of Commerce.