Savannah Patterson, a biology teacher and a UNC alumna, was named the teacher of the year at Cedar Ridge High School.
Patterson represents CRHS as a contender for the title of 2023 Orange County Schools Teacher of the Year, among 12 other candidates.
“It is absolutely well-deserved," Jamye Carr, the lead teacher of the science department at CRHS, said. "She works incredibly hard and invests everything she has into her students."
According to Patterson, CRHS principal Anna Hipps requested nominations from the faculty for the school’s teacher of the year. Nominees were not limited to teachers — one nominee was an exceptional children staff member. This year, there were five nominations.
Once received, the nominations were compiled in an electronic form with personal testimonials from each nominee and sent to the faculty, who indicated their choice for the title.
Patterson has already submitted a resumé, letters of reference and two personal essays for the OCS Teacher of the Year selection process, but she still needs to do an interview, she said.
She also said she feels mixed emotions about earning the teacher of the year title. Though she is honored to be recognized, she believes many of her colleagues are worthy of earning the title.
As a first-generation college student, Patterson said she struggled with imposter syndrome during her first year at UNC.
“I never felt good enough, I never felt smart enough,” she said.