Brittany Banks is KCS Teacher of the Year

Brittany Banks is KCS Teacher of the Year
Posted on 09/01/2016
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For every mother and father that ever nervously walked their child to Kindergarten for the very first time, Brittany Banks is the kind of teacher they dreamed their child might have. Brittany Banks forms relationships with students that last long after they leave her classroom, and she inspires children toward a lifetime of learning. “She’s amazing,” says Shady Brook Principal, Will Gibson. “She not only creates incredible bonds with her students and makes them love coming to school but she also makes all of us at Shady Brook better educators.”

Brittany Banks’ talent as a teacher and her extraordinary leadership skills helped to make her Kannapolis City Schools’ 2016-17 Teacher of the Year. She teaches Kindergarten at Shady Brook Elementary, and her success is even more impressive considering that she is in only her fourth year of teaching. “Some people have qualities that set them apart from others and make people sit up and take notice,” says KCS Superintendent, Dr. Chip Buckwell. “Brittany Banks is one of those people. From the moment people enter her classroom, it’s very clear that she is a special teacher. She is just amazing in the way that she works with children and gets them to grasp concepts and love learning. We are extremely fortunate to have her in Kannapolis City Schools.”  


Brittany Banks believes her success stems from her ability to form relationships with her students. “My students know I care not only about their learning but also about them as individuals. On the first day of school, I have 18 anxious and shy students. By the end of the year, I have 18 confident and secure students. This transformation doesn’t happen through my reading and math instruction. It happens because of the relationships I focus on and build throughout the year.” 

Banks also is committed to making sure students go beyond rote memorization and see meaning in their learning. “Skills cannot be taught in isolation,” she says. “Students need to see the connections between math, science, reading, and writing. I believe the best way to develop students’ understanding is to connect learning to real life. If students think sight words are only read on flashcards, they will not understand how sight words are vital to reading and writing. If we only teach math through numerical equations, students will not connect their understanding of fractions to a recipe. I want my students to be lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and successful adults.”

Brittany Banks received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from UNC Charlotte, and she is currently earning a Graduate Certificate in Mathematics from UNC Charlotte. She is a member of the National Education Association and has been honored by the Kannapolis City Board of Education for her excellence.   

Brittany Banks will now be considered for regional Teacher of the Year honors. As a result of being named Kannapolis City Schools’ Teacher of the Year, Banks received $1,000 from First Financial Group of America, which sponsors the KCS Teacher of the Year program. SHANE DAGENHART of A.L. Brown High School was named the system's runner-up Teacher of the Year. He received $500 from First Financial Group of America. The remaining nominees received $100 from First Financial:

  • Breena Brown, Kannapolis Middle School
  • Amy Irvin, Forest Park Elementary School
  • Lindsey Lipsey, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
  • Sherri Matheny, Jackson Park Elementary School
  • Kelly Youngo, Kannapolis Intermediate School
  • Samantha Zekan, Fred L. Wilson Elementary School 



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