The Rotary Club of Hickory has named Jana Kaylor, a media specialist at Oakwood Elementary School, the 2020 Wilmer Jenkins Teacher of the Year.
One of nine outstanding educators nominated for the prestigious award given annually by the club, Ms. Kaylor is a digital teaching and media facilitator at Oakwood Elementary School. A native of Gastonia, Ms. Kaylor has been a teacher since 2005 when she got her degree in Elementary Education at UNC-Charlotte. She later got her Masters degree in Library and Information Studies from UNC-Greensboro. She has been at Oakwood since 2016.
The other outstanding nominees for the award were: Laura Beatty, Longview Elementary; Maria Creger, Viewmont Elementary; Donna Danner, Jenkins Elementary; Jennifer Yang Lee, Southwest Elementary; Kara Taylor, Northview Middle School; Diane Urtel, Grandview Elementary; Andy Blevins, Hickory High; and Tracy Reese, Hickory Career and Arts Magnet School.
Kathryn Greathouse, Chair of the Wilmer Jenkins Teacher of the Year Committee, said that the interviews were a challenge this year. “The committee interviewed each teacher via Zoom, which was quite different from previous years. However, the enthusiasm, dedication, and resourcefulness of these amazing educators came through loud and clear. Even under the current challenging circumstances, these great educators are creating a positive learning environment for their fortunate students.”
Each nominee receives a $500 award from the Rotary Club and the winner receives $1,000. “We always wish it could be even more,” said Ms. Greathouse. “The value teachers bring to our community is priceless.”
Other Rotarians who served on the 2020 Teacher of the Year Committee members included Doug Auer, Tara Bland, Lynn Loehr, and Anne Williams.