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January Board of Education Recognitions

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

McKnight Child Development Center

Liam is the son of Erika and Victor Calleja and is a four-year-old student in Miss Aguirre’s classroom.  Liam is considered a very confident child, and is considered an extra teacher assistant in the classroom.  His specialty is reminding Miss Aguirre to decorate the classrooms according to the seasons.  He sits down and makes plans with her to make sure the classroom looks perfect.  He also is the technology facilitator in his room.  While Miss Aguirre is transition the students and ensuring materials are ready, he maneuvers the promethean board for the other students in the classroom.  Miss Aguirre is sure that he will make a kindergarten teacher a happy person next year by being an extra set of hands in the room.

K.J. is the son of Namiah Black and Ka-Leel Blakeney, Sr. and is a four-year-old student in Mrs. Hayes classroom.  Mrs. Hayes says that for being so young, he has the most mature sense of kindness.  He shows respect, empathy, and compassion for his teachers, peers, and any member of our school.  He cannot pass Ms. Stephanie, a McKnight custodian, without yelling hello to her with a big smile, even though he just saw her 30 minutes ago and had the same reaction.  He is reliable, an excellent listener, and all around has great character.  His classroom is so proud of him for being chosen as a student of the year.  

Samantha Moose is a parent volunteer at McKnight Child Development Center.  Mrs. Moose is currently out Policy Council Chair and an active volunteer at our program.  She is excellent and creative with bulletin boards, and helps with the delivery of our snack bags to students each week.  Mrs. Baucom appreciates her attention to details and her willingness to take on leadership roles within the school. 

Samantha is the mom of Memphis Moose, a student at McKnight Child Development Center.  She is also the wife of Rodney Moose.

Barbara Lindskog’s approach to being a teacher assistant extends far beyond the classroom. This is evident in her skills as a bus driver.  Mrs. Lindskog is a top-notch bus driver for our program. The students love seeing Mrs. Lindskog’s face as she is driving the bus each morning and afternoon.  The children are safe with her behind the wheel.  Mrs. Lindskog can be described as a kind and patient educator who has the patience of Job when working with our little ones.  She shares her life with her husband, Adam, and their two sons. Her eldest son is Mark and the youngest is Nathan who is a junior at A.L. Brown.

Katie Christy is a teacher assistant at McKnight Child Development center.  This is her first year working for the program.  Katie has shown leadership this school year by stepping up in her classroom and taking ownership when her teacher went on to teach at another school.  Katie works hard each day to ensure that the students in her classroom were challenged and received excellent care each day.  

Katie is married to Corey and the mom of a daughter, Eveleigh, a fourth grader at North Kannapolis Elementary, and two twin boys, Waylon and Memphis, two students at McKnight Child Development Center.  She has lived in Kannapolis for 31 years and her hobbies include hanging out with her family, playing Pokémon Go with her family, and visiting family in the mountains. 

Ashley Hayes has been an employee at McKnight Child Development Center for the last four years.  She started her career as a teacher assistant and quickly moved into a teaching position.  Mrs. Hayes can be described as a model teacher of the early childhood student.  She is a kind and nurturing teacher who encourages her students to be good citizens and thoughtful of each other’s feelings. Dr. Baucom is in awe of her ability to redirect students.  Not many can acquire this natural gift.  The program is truly blessed to have her work with the children.  She is an excellent role model for her colleagues.

Ashley is newly married to Jarrod.  In her free time, Ashley enjoys reading and being with friends and family.

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

Janis Durgin is a Teacher with pre-K students with Head Start at McKnight Child Development Center.    After serving four years in a neighboring district, Ms. Durgin has been teaching at McKnight for more than six years.

The nomination for Ms. Durgin stated she “goes above and beyond for and with her students every day. She meets each child at their specific level and gives them the direction, yet freedom, to learn and grow at their own pace. Each child that has been blessed to have her as a teacher remembers her and her classroom lessons for years to follow. From dance party Fridays to unique classroom pets, Ms. Durgin does it all to put smiles on her tiny students’ faces each and every day!”

We’re extremely proud that Janis is part of our KCS family.  We’re also delighted that Hilbish Ford is honoring her excellence with the Hilbish Ford Outstanding Teacher Award for January. Congratulations!


Terri Lamb has served at A. L. Brown in School Nutrition for nearly 10 years and will be missed for her sweet demeanor and kind heart.  Her coworkers say that she is the glue that holds their team together.  Her hard work, dedication, and knowledge are inspirational to those around her.

Terri has loved being called a “lunch lady” and being a part of the students’ day, even knowing their favorite dishes, like Walking Tacos and Hamburger Steak and Gravy.  She has made such lasting bonds with A. L. Brown students that she attends graduation each year just to cheer them and celebrate their milestone.

Terri, thank you for feeding and caring for our students in such a meaningful way.  We hope you enjoy your retirement!

Bonnie West has been in education for nearly 33 years and spent the last 23+ serving here in KCS.  Most recently, Bonnie has served as the Director of Exceptional Children, tirelessly working to ensure that every student receives the support they need to thrive.  Throughout her career, she has championed inclusivity and compassion.  She has been a driving force behind the success of many special education initiatives and her dedication has left an enduring mark on our entire district.

Bonnie has been a mentor, an advocate, and a friend to many.  She created an environment where EC staff felt valued, empowered, and encouraged.  Tonight, we express our deepest gratitude for the countless hours, the unwavering commitment, and the passion that she has poured into our special education program.  While we are sad to see her go, we celebrate a well-deserved retirement filled with new adventures and opportunities.

Bonnie, we hope the next chapter of your life is as fulfilling and inspiring as the one you leave behind.  Thank you for your dedication, your leadership, and the positive impact you’ve made on the lives of so many.