The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday September 27th

Teacher Wins Regional Award

Julie Dermody, a fifth-grade teacher at Scroggs Elementary School in Chapel Hill, already has been recognized as the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Teacher of the Year for 2000-01.

Dermody's award was announced at a meeting with her colleagues after school in Scroggs Elementary's art room. She said the award came as a complete surprise. "I had no idea," said the 49-year-old Dermody, who has been teaching for 19 years. "I do admit to looking in my mailbox every night, just to find out one way or the other."

The regional Teacher of the Year was chosen from a pool of candidates from 18 counties in central North Carolina. Dermody received the award after being interviewed, observed and evaluated by a committee of educators.

Dermody will now compete against five other finalists for the state award. The state Teacher of the Year, to be named on May 1, will serve on the N.C. Board of Education for one year and serve as an adviser to state schools.

"I have some more work to do," Dermody said. "I have to submit some more stuff and make some changes."

Dermody has been at Scroggs since the school's opening in 1999, and before that she taught at McDougle elementary and middle schools.

Superintendent Neil Pedersen, who himself was honored recently as a finalist for national Superintendent of the Year, said Dermody's award is reflective of the high standards of the district.

"These awards really validate the quality of our teachers," Pedersen said. "It is a way to recognize the quality that exists in our staff."

Scroggs Elementary Principal Paula McCarthy spoke at the announcement and described Dermody as an extremely hard worker, a team player and a role model.

"She is always a learner," McCarthy told an audience of about 50 teachers and other administrators. "She does everything for the kids and for learning. We are very proud of you."

As regional Teacher of the Year, Dermody will work with and represent area teachers and advocate education, as well as continue her classroom duties.

Dermody said the award gives her the opportunity to get involved in state issues that are of importance to her.

"I want to help bring teachers in, retain the teachers we have and enhance our profession," Dermody said. "I am lucky to be among those who can help in the state."

Dermody emphasizes writing in the classroom and has helped to develop several programs to encourage the use of technology in learning.

She acknowledged her colleagues in helping her to achieve the award.

"To work with such incredible people and to be recognized is great. Not one person can be Teacher of the Year. We support and learn from each other."

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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