• Smithfield-Selma High's Cynthia Hutchings receives 2015 Flame For Learning Award

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    May 01, 2015
    Smithfield-Selma High School’s Cynthia Hutchings is the recipient of the 22nd Annual Flame for Learning Award.
    Hutchings, a 9th grade English 1 teacher, was honored at the annual Flame for Learning Banquet held on April 28 at the Johnston County Agricultural Center. Chick-fil-A of Smithfield was the presenting sponsor of the award and Rev. Lee Colbert, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Smithfield, was the keynote speaker. Musical entertainment was provided by the South Johnston High School Ensemble.
    Hosted by the county’s Chambers of Commerce, the award comes with the title of Johnston County School District Teacher of the Year. Hutchings’ classroom best practice was “Service Learning.” The practice taught students about the benefits of participating in activities that serve the community. Students were required to develop a service learning project that not only assisted an individual or organization but also helped the students grow academically and personally.
    As the Flame for Learning Award winner Hutchings received a cash award of $1,000, along with a $500 grant from the Johnston County Education Foundation. She will go on to compete for the North Carolina Teacher of the Year, beginning with regional competition in the fall of 2015.
    Three finalists for the award were, Amy Hines, a 5th grade math & science teacher at River Dell Elementary School – Best Practice: Tap Your Feet to the Classroom Beat; Greer Suggs, a 6-8th grade creative writing teacher at Clayton Middle School – Best Practice: Thank You, Veterans; and Helen Westbrook, a special education teacher at North Johnston High School – Best Practice: IMPACT Club, each received $300. The schools of the recipient and finalists each received $250.
    The Chambers of Commerce in Johnston County adopted the Flame for Learning Award because of the importance that teachers play in developing and educating children. In so doing, it has been the goal of the local chambers to support and elevate the teaching profession in the school district. This award recognizes outstanding creativity and innovation of teachers and the impact they are having on their students. More than 250 teachers were nominated and were asked to submit a "best practice" that they used in the classroom. A selection committee named 20 semifinalists after reviewing the best practices, without knowledge of the teacher’s name, address or school. The 20 semifinalists later participated in an interview process to determine the recipient and the finalists.
    The remaining 16 semi-finalists for the 2015 Flame for Learning Award received $100 each and are:
    Megan Beck - Smithfield-Selma High
    Ashley Blevins - Riverwood Elementary
    Annah Creech - Clayton Middle
    Evan Dempster - Clayton Middle
    Sharon Glenn - Smithfield Middle
    Kimberly Harkins - Clayton High
    Kira Higgins - West Smithfield Elementary
    Bethany Jones - Smithfield-Selma High
    Janice Peacock - Corinth Holders High
    Amanda Pierce - Riverwood Middle
    Therese Polito - Smithfield-Selma High
    Elizabeth Shepard - Corinth Holders High
    Pamela Stich - Cooper Elementary
    Malena Thieme - Riverwood Elementary
    Valorie Trombley - Riverwood Elementary
    Marisa Wiggins - Meadow School
    In addition to Chick-fil-A of Smithfield, 68 Johnston County business and civic organizations helped sponsor this year’s Flame For Learning Award. They include:
    Chick-fil-A of Smithfield
    Johnston County Education Foundation with Sysco Food Services
    Johnston County School District
    Dixie Denning LP Gas
    The Farm
    Johnston County Visitors Bureau
    Johnston Health
    Princeton Chamber of Commerce
    Walmart of Smithfield
    Zaxby’s of Clayton & Smithfield
    Clarity Vision—Dr Hilburn & Associates
    Clayton Chamber of Commerce
    Clayton Mid-Day Rotary Club
    Duke Energy
    First Citizens Bank
    Four Oaks Bank & Trust
    Golden Corral of Smithfield
    Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce
    Interstate Outdoor, Inc.
    KS Bank, Inc.
    Mast Law Firm
    Memory Lane Frame Shop
    McDonald’s - F & D Huebner, LLC
    Novo Nordisk Pharmaceutical Industries
    Parker General Contractors, LLC
    Pernell, Inc.
    Pizza Inn
    Sleep Inn & Suites of Smithfield
    Willowrun Veterinary Hospital
    Wood Termite & Pest Control
    Woody’s Computing Service
    The Armstrong Law Firm, P.A.
    AT&T North Carolina
    Atlantic Coast Protein Corp.
    Barbour Court Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
    Benson Area Chamber of Commerce
    Benson Lions Club
    Benton Card Company
    Carroll Pharmacy
    Coldwell Banker Advantage—Janet Kleinert
    Daughtry, Woodard, Lawrence & Starling, PA
    Deacon Jones Auto Park
    Galot Motorsports
    Fairfield Inn & Suites of Smithfield
    Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce
    Harbor, Inc.—Janet Wilson
    Hog Slat Inc.
    John H. Scovil & Associates, PA
    Dorothy Johnson
    Johnston County Alumnae Chapter of  Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
    Johnston County Farm Bureau Insurance - Keith Brinson
    Kenly Area Chamber of Commerce
    Kiwanis Club of Benson
    Liberty Commons of Johnston County
    Mitchell Temporary Services
    Narron, O’Hale & Whittington, PA, Benson Office
    Dr. Dicky Parrish
    Parrish Cleaning Service
    Mark & Regina Ryan
    Selma Middle School
    Dr. Peggy Smith
    Stephenson General Contractors
    Watson, Cooke & Jones, CPA
    Donna White
    Wilkins, Wellons, & Coats, Attorneys
    Wood Accounting and Pharmacy
    The Johnston County Association of Chambers of Commerce sponsors several programs throughout the year, including the Flame for Learning Award, Leadership Johnston, the Johnston County Legislative Reception and the Johnston County Economic Development Luncheon.
    Rick Childrey, President
    (919) 934-9166

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