Award Winners

Awarding endowed teaching chairs each year is one way the Public School Foundation acknowledges the contributions of outstanding educators and rewards their efforts on behalf of students.

Mackenzie Casey

Mel & Zora Rashkis Chair for Excellence in Teaching, Smith Middle School

Receiving this award is exciting and inspiring! Our district is FULL of amazing Healthful Living teachers that work hard every day to provide the BEST for our children. This award encourages me to continue to try new things, to keep learning, and to make my classroom a place my kids can’t WAIT to come each day.

Katy Cobb

Upper Elementary Chair for Elementary Education, McDougle Elementary

I am proud to be a member of this incredible organization of innovative, compassionate, and forward-thinking teams who are committed to creating an equitable and successful experience for students. This makes me excited to come to school each day.

Kathryn Cole

Mary U. Andrews Chair for Excellence in Teaching Literacy, Northside Elementary

School libraries provide communities open access to vibrant, inclusive collections, cultivate wonder through inquiry, and sustain collaborative learning spaces. It is a privilege to serve as the librarian at Northside wherein I get to create a community space that fosters critical literacy and learning steeped in joy.

Jamie Fernandez-Schendt

Sullivan Chair for Excellence in Teaching High School English or Social Studies, Carrboro High School

It is my hope for all students to grow in my classroom as both leaders and citizens in their communities. That to me this is the most basic function and purpose of a public education. As a social studies teacher, it is this mindset that motivates me and informs my philosophy each and every day in the classroom. It is such an honor to be recognized by the Public School Foundation and I hope it reflects my own small piece of leadership and active citizenship in our community.

Corrie Franklin

PSF/PTA Chair for Excellence in Teaching Cultural Arts, Culbreth Middle School and Chapel Hill High School

I am honored to serve as your Cultural Arts Chair! The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School community is a truly amazing place to teach. Each day I look forward to creating beautiful music with our amazing students! Thank you Public School Foundation for supporting the arts in our schools!

Clare Matusevich

Elmo’s Diner Chair for Excellence in Teaching High School Math or Science, Chapel Hill High School

I am so grateful to work in a district full of innovative, student-centered teachers and staff. I am honored to receive this award. It inspires me to continue learning from others and expanding both my skills as a teacher and my collaboration with my colleagues to deliver the best possible education to my students.

Helen Motta

Zora Rashkis Chair for Excellence in Teaching Language Arts or Social Studies, Culbreth Middle School

I am grateful to work in a district that not only empowers me to make the best instructional decisions for my students, but also one that supports me with so many outstanding colleagues who model excellence in teaching, and with a wealth of opportunities for teachers to improve their pedagogy.

Mary Patricia Peres-da-Silva

GSK Chair for Excellence in Teaching Middle School Mathematics or Science, McDougle Middle School

Receiving the GSK Teaching Chair award has strengthened and inspired me to do what I have always loved doing: Positively impacting students lives by igniting a passion in learning and education. The Public School Foundation made it possible for me to start a STEM club and a Hydroponics garden with my students thus providing them with innovative learning experiences. I believe that "Education is the Passport to the Future", and every day I feel lucky to go to work and play an integral role in my students' journey in achieving higher education.

Ashley Quick-Hooker

Reckford Prize, Northside Elementary School

“I can feel the high energy in my classroom through the songs, dances, and games that are used in my practice to help students retain information. I enjoy ensuring new energetic ways to make learning enjoyable. Working atvNorthside Elementary has been the best experience. This experience has allowed my teaching practice to evolve over the years. I have learned that if the teacher is excited about the content the students will be as well. “

Mike Sharp

Neil Pedersen Teachers First Chair for Excellence in Classroom Technology 2018-2020, Culbreth Middle School

“I’m so honored to receive this award and, while it’s nice to have one’s work recognized, I know that I would never be able to do what I do without the support of so many others! My students are served all day long by the finest and most caring group of people. Their efforts inspire and encourage me, as a teaching chair to strive to deliver the most engaging and challenging projects I possibly can!

Christine Sudzina Schut

Burton Stewart Chair for Promising New Secondary Teacher in Mathematics or Science, ECHHS

I feel so fortunate to work with such dedicated, innovative and stellar colleagues, administrators and staff at CHCCS. As an enthusiastic life-long learner, I am excited on a daily basis to strive to inspire and support my students to do their best in the science classroom as well as in their community. I am truly honored to receive this award and grateful for the support of the Public School Foundation.

Ronetta Walker

Sockwell Chair for Excellence in Teaching Primary Grades (PreK-2nd), Northside Elementary

I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity to work with amazing educators, students, and families in the Northside Community and throughout CHCCS. It is truly a pleasure to represent Pre-K teachers throughout the district, showcasing our hard work within the community. Thank you, Public School Foundation, for this great opportunity.