Standout Teachers Honored at Averett’s Educator of the Year Reception

Posted on May 12th, 2017 by Cassie Jones

For the past decade, Averett University has produced almost 250 teachers in the region who have gone on to be voted Teacher of the Year for the school in which they work. Averett honored this year’s 18 alumni recipients at a reception on Wednesday, May 10.

This year’s honorees work in school systems throughout the cities of Danville and Martinsville and counties of Caswell, Halifax, Henry, Pittsylvania and Rockingham. The group was recognized at a ceremony in the Frank R. Campbell Stadium, attended by University employees and alumni, along with principals and superintendents from multiple school districts and several Danville City School Board members.

“Averett University’s Professional Education Program consistently trains high-performing educators who make a real difference in the lives of their students,” said Dr. Sue Davis, chair of Averett’s education department and director of teacher education. “For our graduates, it is indeed an honor to be recognized, and it is notable that Averett’s regional influence continues.”

The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce annually awards one teacher from every school within its districts as Educator of the Year, and among those are three Teachers of Excellence awards, in which recipients receive a cash price. Eleven of the 37 Educator of the Year recipients were Averett alumni, as were two of the three Teachers of Excellence award winners. All of these were recognized at the Chamber’s Annual Awards Dinner on Monday, May 8.

“I truly love what I do, and being nominated by my peers for an award so honoring as Educator of the Year is a truly humbling experience,” said 2017 Educator of the Year award recipient for Grove Park Preschool and Averett alumna, Jennifer Underwood ’08, ’10. “Hearing kind words and seeing the appreciation from the hundreds of people at the Chamber of Commerce dinner was very overwhelming…However, I have to say, receiving the honor means the most coming from Averett….Being recognized by my alma mater means the most to be and gives me so much pride. Averett has always been a huge part of my life and continues to be even now.”

The alumni Averett celebrated at its ceremony include:

John K. Barbour ’98
W.W. Moore, Jr. Juvenile Detention Home

Teresa L. Bowes ’02
Sinai Elementary School

Deitra L. Cassell ’94
Mount Olivet Elementary School

Teresa M. Fisher ’98
Sanville Elementary School

Cathy L. Henderson ’05
Halifax County Middle School

Joan L. Hendrix ’77
Pittsylvania Career & Technical Center

Yolanda Hicks ’07
Westwood Middle School

Paige T. Hines ’13
Stony Mills Elementary School

Robin L. Jackson ’97
Forest Hills Elementary School

Sheryll F. Jeffries ’96, ’09
E.A. Gibson Elementary School

Elizabeth Joyce ’94
Drewry Mason Elementary School

Christy L. Lipscomb ’05
Chatham High School

Katie A. Petrick ’69, ’73
Dan River High School

Martha A. Scruggs ’01
Altavista Elementary School

Paul S. Shelton ’82
Gretna High School

Jared R. Smith ’09
Galileo High School

Jennifer A. Underwood ’08, ’10
Grove Park Preschool

Chastity L. Wertz ’99
Mt. Airy Elementary School

Averett offers traditional baccalaureate education program with preparation for licensure in almost 15 certifications and an optional minor in special education, as well as four online programs in graduate-level programs through its Graduate and Professional Studies program. Averett’s teacher education program consistently places nearly 100 percent of its graduates in teaching positions.

“I truly believe that when someone decides to go into the education field that there is nowhere better than Averett for this preparation. While I always enjoyed my many professors and the courses, the hands-on training and involvement is the classrooms was the most beneficial,” Underwood said.