Tradition of Excellence Continues in Averett’s Education Alumni Award Winners

Posted on May 14th, 2019 by Cassie Jones

Averett University is a major player in graduating teachers for the region’s school systems, and again this year, many of those alumni educators have been awarded for their work in the classroom.

Voted Educator of the Year for the school in which they work, teachers from Danville Public Schools, Pittsylvania County Schools and Caswell County Schools were honored last week by Averett University at the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards dinner. Of the 39 total recognized that night, 16 were Averett graduates.

Averett then held another celebration for its alumni awardees at a reception on Monday, May 13, in the President’s Suite of the Frank R. Campbell Stadium on the University’s North Campus. In addition to the three school systems honored by the Chamber, this year’s honorees also work in school systems throughout the City of Martinsville and counties of Halifax, Henry and Rockingham. Past award winners, superintendents, school board members and several Averett faculty and staff gathered to celebrate 23 education alumni, eight of whom were able to attend.

“Of all the people that we could recognize, I cannot think of a more important and special group than our educators,” said Averett University President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks.

She and Averett Alumni and Friends Director Dan Hayes presented each awardee with gift from the University.

“I’m very excited to be honored by my alma mater after so many years, and thrilled that they are still thinking about us,” said Robin Adams ’85, kindergarten teacher at E. A. Gibson Elementary School in Danville. This is the third time she has been selected by her school as Educator of the Year.

“When we hire teachers, we come to Averett first…not just because of its locality, but because we know what kind of great teachers we will get,” said Dr. Mark Jones, division superintendent for Pittsylvania County Schools.

Within a 30-mile radius of Averett’s Main Campus, one-third of all the award winners from over the years are Averett graduates. Averett has recognized more than 215 winners who were alumni from the University since it started this annual tradition.

“Averett has had a significant impact on education in the region,” said Danville Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Stanley Jones, who praised the “unsung heroes” for their stamina, commitment, purpose and impact. “The most important profession in our community is our educators.”

Also recognized was Dr. Sue Davis, retiring chair of Averett’s education department and director of teacher education. She led the department at Averett for five years after a long career in education and administration, with former roles like principal and superintendent of Danville Public Schools.

“She is the consummate teacher’s teacher,” said Dr. Franks of Dr. Davis, saying she was moved when thinking about “the thousands of lives that Dr. Davis has touched throughout her career.”

The alumni Averett celebrated at its ceremony include:

Frances D. Aaron ’93

Chatham Elementary School

Elizabeth A. Leach ’01

Holmes Middle School

Hope M. Abernathy ’15

Westwood Middle School

Faye E. Luther ’95

Sanville Elementary School

Robin A. Adams ’85

E. A. Gibson Elementary School

Jamesha L. Petty  ’03

Northside Preschool

Brandon P. Arnold ’10

Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School

Pamela A. Porter ’88

Rockingham Middle School

Elizabeth F. Bennett ’06, ’09

Park Avenue Elementary School

Debra Rawley ’79

Sacred Heart

Kevin G. Bowman ’17

Schoolfield Elementary School

Jason W. Short ’99

Gretna Middle School

Kimberly A. Calloway ’06

Southside Elementary School

Stacey R. Stowe ’99, ’04

Kentuck Elementary School

Kimberly D. Clark ’07, ’10

Rich Forks Elementary School

Kimberly S. Toothman ’05

W. W. Moore Education Program

Emily A. Crabb ’13

Dan River High School

Deborah J. Turner ’81

Twin Springs Elementary School

Meredith P. Fears ’08

Sinai Elementary School

Neva J. Van Der Hyde ’03

Regional Alternative School

Amy M. Jamison ’10

Draper Elementary School

Re’Shawn T. Woodson ’12

George Washington High School

Averett offers a 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.

“It makes me very happy to be a graduate of Averett,” said Adams. “I would recommend anyone going into education to go to Averett. I know that I got the best education.”