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September Board of Education Recognitions

The Kannapolis Board of Education was proud to honor outstanding representatives from McKnight Child Development Center at its September meeting.

Ricky Rodriguez:  Ricky came to McKnight last year and struggled a little bit as he was adjusting to school and a new home life. Many times his new environment led to tears and frustration but, with the love of his Uncle and Aunt and his teachers, he has shown tremendous growth, both academically and emotionally. Ricky has grown more confident in his abilities and is a much happier child. Ricky is a fine example of what a nurturing and loving environment can do for a child. We are all so proud of him and cannot wait to see what his future will bring.

America Estrada:  America is in her second year at McKnight. When she first came to our school, she instantly stole our hearts with her charming and outgoing personality. America is bright and well-spoken in both English and Spanish and is a true leader in her classroom.  Her strengths shine at home as well where she tackles the role of big sister to five siblings with love and compassion, even though it can be challenging. America is a joy to teach and to see how far she has come this year has been a pleasure to witness.

Jennifer Mejia:  Throughout her two years as a Head Start parent, Jennifer Mejia was an active volunteer and served as the chair of McKnight’s Parent Committee.  Ms. Mejia worked tirelessly to help with Family Engagement Events and was instrumental in recruiting other parents to become involved and serve as volunteers as well. She is extremely creative and innovative and brought fresh ideas for Family Events.  She also tackled the program’s first Scholastic Book Fair, where she helped with the theme and the setup and it was a great success, due in large part to all her efforts. Ms. Mejia became such a reliable volunteer and asset to our program that she was offered a position as a Teacher’s Assistant, where she was well received by the entire staff for her positive attitude and willingness to do whatever was asked of her with kindness and enthusiasm.  At the end of last school year, there was an opening in McKnight’s Family Services Department and she was given the opportunity to serve as a Family Advocate, a role that she has taken on and is handling extremely well. Ms. Mejia is a shining example of what can happen when a parent is given the opportunity to volunteer and shine. Our Head Start program was lucky to have her as a volunteer and now as a valuable employee!

Elizabeth Yousey:  Elizabeth Yousey is the oldest daughter of Greg Yousey and Karen Yousey, the Preschool Behavior Coach at McKnight.  Elizabeth has volunteered many hours for the past ten years and has been able to substitute during times when she is on break from school. While completing her degree at UNC Wilmington, she has started to substitute virtually for our three-year-old students, who are strictly online.   Elizabeth’s technical skills make her extremely valuable and she supports any teacher who calls upon her.  She has been especially helpful to Barbara Lindskog, a virtual three-year-old teacher at McKnight, who calls her “My Virtual Angel”.  Elizabeth has been responsible for organizing student work that is submitted online and she has been able to help document student achievements through our online data collection system with Teaching Strategies.  Elizabeth has taken on the responsibility for recording attendance, as well as helping other virtual teachers gather virtual learning experiences, such as field trips, for all students.  Mrs. Baucom is extremely grateful that she has started substituting at McKnight.  She has been a rock for many teachers, especially during times of sickness and lack of available substitutes.  Mrs. Baucom knows that she will be an excellent teacher and will go far with her degree in Special Education.  Elizabeth will graduate in May from UNC Wilmington.

Lindsay Glenn:  Lindsay Glenn is currently a Four-Year-Old Teacher Assistant at McKnight Child Development Center.  Ms. Glenn came to McKnight in November in 2018 as a Three-Year-Old Teacher Assistant. Ms. Glenn embodies the sentiment ‘When You Can Be Anything in the World, Be Kind’; she leads with kindness always.  She loves the children in her class unconditionally and wholeheartedly.  Ms. Glenn is always willing to help when there is a need. She shares her knowledge with students and coworkers alike and is usually the first to volunteer when help is needed. Her calm personality is instrumental in creating a warm, wonderful space for children to learn.  Mrs. Baucom has encouraged Ms. Glenn to further her craft by working on her teaching degree.  She has stated this year that she plans to get her degree in teaching.  The children of McKnight will be blessed even more with her endeavor and talent after she is completed.

Janis Durgin:  Janis Durgin is currently a Four-Year-Old teacher at McKnight Child Development Center.  This is Ms. Durgin’s 24th year of teaching since graduating from Salem State University in 1993. She has said many times that she feels like everything in her career has led up to serving at McKnight and Head Start!  Ms. Durgin is an insightful educator and a #WONDERful part of McKnight and KCS. She has a huge heart for teaching and goes above and beyond to make sure learning is not only fun but engaging for all of our children. Ms. Durgin cares deeply about each child in her class and works hard to make sure they feel loved and welcomed. She is so encouraging to, not only students, but also to her coworkers.  She is always there to offer a lending hand or listening ear.  Mrs. Baucom has stated that, “Ms. Durgin is the embodiment of what a preschool teacher at McKnight should be.  She is always doing what is best for her students. She truly follows her students’ leads in learning.  Ms. Durgin allows for students to have ownership in their school and their education.”  

The Board was also pleased to recognize the Hilbish Ford Teacher of the Month, Lynn Dwyer from ALB.

Lynn Dwyer is very special to students at A.L. Brown High School where she serves as the Health Science teacher.  Four different students nominated her for this award.  They talked about her outstanding teaching but they also talked about what a wonderful, caring person she is.  One student shared that, in the three years she has had Mrs. Dwyer as a teacher, she learned more than just the subject matter but also learned some life lessons.   Another said of Mrs. Dwyer’s dedication to her students, “She always finds a way to make herself available to meet their needs.”  That student also said Mrs. Dwyer isn’t only there for her students, but for her coworkers, as well.  All of the students spoke to Mrs. Dwyer’s interest and investment in her students’ success.  One seemed to sum it up for all of them when saying, “She isn’t just a teacher, she’s a friend!”

Her principal, Mr. DelliSanti shared, "Mrs. Dwyer is an incredibly dedicated teacher who has a love for her students that is absolutely inextinguishable, as is their love for her.  She is one of the best!"

Board members were excited to also recognize Daryle Adams as the NC CTE Administrator of the Year!

Earlier this year, Daryle Adams was named the state’s top CTE Administrator.  Mr. Adams received the North Carolina CTE Administrator of the Year award to honor his achievements in expanding Kannapolis City Schools’ Career Technical Education program, his outstanding leadership, and his efforts to ensure student and teacher success. The award was presented by the North Carolina Association for Career and Technical Education.

Russell Parker, the state chairperson for the North Carolina Association for Career and Technical Education said, “Daryle Adams has proven himself to be a tremendous supporter of community workforce needs by creating partnerships with local and state business leaders. He also is innovative and strategic in creating courses and programs for students, and he is most deserving of being North Carolina’s CTE Administrator of the Year.”

Superintendent, Dr. Chip Buckwell said, “The work Mr. Adams has put in over the last four years and how that work has changed the lives of students and families is the reason he is the North Carolina CTE Administrator of the Year.”