On April 14, Kimberly Jones received the 2023 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year title. Jones is an English teacher at Chapel Hill High School.
The selection pool included nine finalists, each representing one of North Carolina’s eight education districts and charter schools.
Jones is the second CHCCS teacher to receive the award in the last three years. Eugenia Floyd, a teacher at Mary Scroggs Elementary School, was named Teacher of the Year in 2021.
“It certainly reflects positively that this is a district that allows teachers to be their authentic selves,” Andy Jenks, the chief communications officer for CHCCS, said. “That translates into an effective, memorable and in some cases, perhaps transformational educational experience for our students as well as our colleagues.”
During the last 10 months, Jones was named the North Central Region Teacher of the Year and the CHCCS District Teacher of the Year.
Jones lives in Danville, Virginia, which is over an hour's commute to CHHS. She said the drive is worth it because CHHS is where she has grown and developed her voice, persona and educational philosophy.
“It’s been a school and a school district that has centered equity and prioritized cultural relevance and culturally responsive teaching and cultural inclusiveness,” she said.
Jones said her mother was her first teacher, nurturing her work ethic and her desire to serve other people. She said she was inspired by the incredible teachers in her hometown of Erwin, North Carolina.
She said they helped empower a version of herself that she didn’t know existed, which motivated her to become an educator and incorporate diverse perspectives into her curriculum.