First Summer Citizen Teacher Social & Presidential Awards Kick Off School Year

New and returning Citizen Teachers from Charlotte, grounded in the belief that all members of a community can be part of closing the achievement gap, gathered for the first-ever Citizen Schools North Carolina Summer Citizen Teacher Social on August 1st to celebrate a year of success and to kick off apprenticeships for the fall.

As more than thirty guests from Bank of America, EMC, Microsoft and UNC Charlotte mingled with one another in the vast UNC Charlotte Center City ballroom, it became obvious that the Citizen Schools 2012-2013 school year was off to a strong start.

John Gilson, chair of the Citizen Schools North Carolina Advisory Board and Citizen Teacher of four Mock Trial apprenticeships at Eastway Middle School, shared a heartwarming story with attendees about why he volunteers with Citizen Schools.

During a recent Mock Trial WOW! at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, one of Mr. Gilson's apprentices, Tyrone, became visibly upset about the verdict, which was not in his team's favor. Mr. Gilson witnessed Tyrone crying and hugging his mother who had attended to show her support.

"I walked over to tell them exactly what I was thinking – I was honored that Tyrone cared so much about the apprenticeship that he cried in front of his classmates. To me, there is no better compliment as a Citizen Teacher than to see that one of your students truly cares. Also, I told Tyrone that he was fantastic and that he had nothing to be upset about. Tyrone was a fan favorite, several of the jurors and the Judge mentioned to me that Tyrone was exceptional. Tyrone’s mother mentioned to me that he wanted to be an attorney when he grew up. At that moment, I knew that I had far exceeded my goal of doing something meaningful."

Mr. Gilson then left the attendees with the following words of encouragement and thanks:

"Committing to a ten-week long apprenticeship, and to the countless hours spent preparing for class and preparing for your WOW! is a great sacrifice of your time. I hope that each of you looks back on the semester with fond memories, that you too found something meaningful, and most importantly, I hope that you all agree to volunteer again this coming school year."

The Research Triangle Park Headquarters was equally as packed the night before with Citizen Teachers from Durham. More than thirty volunteers from Cisco, Duke, EMC and Fidelity assembled in the front corridor for the same purpose as their Charlotte counterparts: education reform.

Robert Lake, a past Citizen Teacher for three semesters in Durham, shared his experience and gave accolades to the past year’s success. He concluded with encouraging words for the new semester.

Citizen Teachers also participated in a Twitter hashtag raffle. To be eligible for the raffle, attendees had to tweet that they were at the event and use a custom hashtag. Special shout out to Ed Lau, a Microsoft employee and Charlotte Citizen Teacher, for winning!

Finally, at both the Charlotte and Durham Citizen Teacher Socials, last year’s Presidential Award winners were recognized with a certificate and pin from the President of the United States. Please join us in congratulating the following Citizen Teachers for the recognition of their service!

GOLD

   
Acey Boyce UNCC Stars Alliance Eastway Middle School
Arthur Everett EMC Lowe's Grove Middle School
Brandon Fennell Bank of America Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School
Elvira Johnson CPCC STARS Alliance Eastway Middle School
Hong Zou EMC Lowe's Grove Middle School
James Gleeson EMC Lowe's Grove Middle School
Jerry Diehl EMC Lowe's Grove Middle School
Katelyn Doran UNCC Stars Alliance Eastway Middle School
Kim Kiesow EMC Lowe's Grove Middle School
Sonya Johnson CPCC STARS Alliance Eastway Middle School

SILVER

Carol Lenox EPA Neal Middle School
Derek Powe Fidelity Lowe's Grove Middle School
Edward Lau Microsoft Eastway Middle School
Isaac Carter Microsoft Eastway Middle School
Joseph Austin NCSU Lowe's Grove Middle School
Matthew Rascoff Wireless Generation Neal Middle School
Melissa Garrett Anuvia Prevention and Recovery Eastway Middle School
Peter Smith NCSU Lowe's Grove Middle School
Ricky Mohamed Microsoft Eastway Middle School

BRONZE

   
Anindita Mukherjee Cognizant Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School
Anne-Marie Stevenson Latta Plantation Nature Center Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School
Bernine Khan EPA Lowe's Grove Middle School
Brian Bolt Cisco Neal Middle School
Carl Roda NCSU Lowe's Grove Middle School
Carson Dimick Duke University School of Law Lowe's Grove Middle School
Coleman Poag EMC Neal Middle School
Daniel Oldman EMC Neal Middle School
Ian Long Duke University School of Law Neal Middle School
James Bowen   Neal Middle School
Jarred DeVaughn-Brown NCSU Lowe's Grove Middle School
Joshua Williams   Eastway Middle School
Julia Conner Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School
Kelly Leovic EPA Neal Middle School
Michael Juby Parker, Poe, Adams and Bernstein, LLP Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School
Rachel Clark EPA Lowe's Grove Middle School
Rebecca Dodder EPA Neal Middle School
Robert Lake Cisco  Neal Middle School
Saurav Das Cognizant  Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School
Tonya Melvin-Bryant NCSU Lowe's Grove Middle School