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September Board of Education Recognitions

The Kannapolis Board of Education was proud to honor outstanding representatives from around the district at its September meeting.

Gloria Lemus is a junior at ALB and is most deserving of this nomination. Gloria will tell you that life has not always been easy for her.  In fact, for the start of her high school career she struggled like many other high school students in choosing between what was right and what was popular.  But last year and continuing into this year, Gloria made a determination to do what she needed for herself to make sure that her pathway was laid to have a successful future.  She did a complete turnaround academically, made attendance a priority, associated herself with supportive people, and became a role model for others.

This summer, Gloria was chosen to be part of our technology team and she spent almost every day at A. L. Brown. She worked diligently to make sure technology was ready for students when they came back to school and she did so with a smile on her face.  Outside of school, Gloria is a role model for her younger siblings and nephew and makes time to be with them and encourage them to make positive choices.  We all know that we are not going to always make the perfect choice, but we hope that Gloria knows that we are so proud of the choices she has made for herself and that we are all in her corner for anything she needs.  She is truly a wonder and we are so happy to honor her tonight.

Yamir Moreno, a senior at ALB, truly embodies what it means to #beaWonder. As a Link Crew member for two years, Yamir is a leader for his peers and in fact, makes sure that even the adults in the building are kept in line, reminding us to communicate dates and important information to students. During all Link Crew events, Yamir is always willing to serve as a translator for Spanish speaking students, makes sure that all students feel welcome and included, and is constantly asking what he can do to help. Yamir is not afraid to advocate for what is right, model what others need to do, and push others to be better themselves. He is a well-spoken, natural leader who encourages a positive following. Yamir is also a great academic, taking RCCC courses, Advanced Placement courses, and experiencing multiple CTE pathways by being involved in Culinary Arts and Drone Technology. We know Yamir will continue to lead A. L. Brown well and look forward to hearing what his post-secondary plans will be!

Ms. Iriana Lopez is a bus driver for the district and A. L. Brown High School. Driving a bus is hard work, but Ms. Lopez makes it look easy. She always has a smile on her face, is kind with her words, and asks about the needs of those around her. Mr. Iriana Lopez is also always willing to step in when needed.

Mr. Freeland, the bus administrator at ALB, shared that at the beginning of the school year there was a particular day that was confusing all the way around concerning transportation at A.L. Brown.  On this day we had 3 students that were confused about what bus to ride home and Ms. Lopez asked where they lived and said that she would get them home that day.  Her willingness to go out of her way to assist our students showed great character. Further, Ms. Lopez is kind to her students and makes her bus a welcoming place for students to be. We never have any concerns from Ms. Lopez’s bus and we truly believe it is due to her kindness and support for her students.

Joshua Teague, our Core and Construction teacher at ALB and also an alumni of ALB, is a WONDERful addition to our Wonder family. In high school, Mr. Teague took the Core and Construction pathway, completed all of the required certifications, participated in Skills USA, helped build homes for veterans through the KnightHaven program, and worked with construction companies throughout his high school career.

When the teaching position came open, Mr. Teague was eager to support a program that was so special to him. Currently, Mr. Teague is finishing up his certification, but was willing to still work in the Core and Construction teacher role as a long-term substitute. We are beyond lucky that Mr. Teague made this choice. His Canvas course looks like a veteran teacher, he has students who struggle in other areas absolutely devoted to the Core and Construction pathway, he is already working on projects with his courses, is planning to support Skills USA and other Career and Technical Education programs, and is collaborating with his colleagues on projects and ideas they have as well.

Mr. Teague is dependable and devoted to the success of the program and we know that he will continue to excel in this role. We look forward to supporting him each step of the way and are so glad he chose to come back home and share his skills and talents with the students of Kannapolis.

Keith Hodge, a teacher assistant in our Occupational Course of Study, is the foundation of the OCS program and a team player in so many ways.  In fact, there is really nothing that Mr. Hodge will not help with.  He is consistently in the lunchroom while his students are having lunch to help with supervision, he leads the work-hours portion of the OCS program, he ensures students know where their classes are and gets students on and off the bus on a daily basis, and he supports his department by leading classes and providing coverage and assistance as needed.  As an example, last year, when Mr. Hodge’s co-teacher needed to be out for family concerns, Mr. Hodge ran the classroom on a daily basis, teaching reading, math, and work skills to the students.  This year, when the classroom was without a teacher, Mr. Hodge offered to create the lesson plans and assist with other staff members who would need to complete the paperwork for the students.  When we were able to hire a teacher for the classroom, Mr. Hodge helped with the transition, making sure Ms. Crayton knew the daily schedule, the curriculum, and the ins and outs of the OCS program.

Additionally, Mr. Hodge spends time outside of the classroom helping on the fields at A. L. Brown as well as supporting the football team throughout the season. Mr. Hodge is trustworthy and truly cares about ALB and the community of Kannapolis. We don’t know where we would be without Mr. Hodge!

Denzal Gilmore, a Social Studies teacher at ALB, truly embodies what it means to #beaWonder.  Mr. Gilmore is all in to the initiatives the school is implementing, is a tremendous role model to our students in the classroom and on the football field, and is someone that his colleagues can trust.  Embracing Capturing Kids Hearts, Mr. Gilmore greets his students each day, checking in with them about what is going on in their lives.  Mr. Gilmore also works to bring real life experiences into the classroom, turning review for exams into Shark Tank presentations, watching current events, and connecting with the community.  Mr. Gilmore also ensures students have a mentor, serving as a check-in check-out staff member for multiple students during Support Block. 

In his “free” time, Mr. Gilmore is going back to school to earn his teaching license and is currently completing his EdTPA portfolio.  Mr. Gilmore is dedicated to the K and advocates for positivity from his colleagues, leads his learning team to try new things, and encourages his students and athletes to act as young adults should.  Mr. Gilmore not only provides support in the classroom, but also provides after school training for athletes to become better in both football and track and field, two sports where he serves as a coach.  Most importantly though, Mr. Gilmore will always greet you with a smile. His personality is infectious and we are all better because of Mr. Gilmore.

The Board was also pleased to recognize the Hilbish Ford Teacher of the Month, Vanneza Aguirre, Head Start teacher at McKnight Child Development Center. 

Ms. Vanneza is an amazing and extremely caring Head Start Teacher in our Kannapolis City Schools Preschool Program.  The family who nominated her spoke highly of the many ways she pours patience, kindness, love and understanding into her students.  They talked about the time she spends with each child helping them feel safe and comfortable in the school environment.  This family also appreciate the extra mile Ms. Vanneza goes to assist parents with useful pointers and tips to assist with this transition for children.

We are extremely proud that Vanneza Aguirre is a part of our KCS family! We are pleased that she is being honored as the Hilbish Ford Teacher of the Month for September.  Congratulations, Vanneza!