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Pender County Awards 2017-18

posted May 30, 2017, 9:58 AM by Miranda Ferguson

PENDER COUNTY — Pender County Schools recognized its Teacher of the Year, Principal of the Year, AP of the Year, and Teachers of Promise during the Pender County Awards, held May 24 at Cape Fear Middle School.

“Great educators — whether you are a teacher, principal, AP or first-year teacher —  they know that it is about all children, and all means all,” said Dr. Terri Cobb, Superintendent of Pender County Schools. “They make their colleagues better through collaboration and sharing. They never forget that it is about the students. They make learning fun and challenging. They love to see that lightbulb go off when a student gets a concept… they enter education to make a difference.”

The Teacher of the Year for 2017-18 is Miranda Wells, Health Sciences teacher at Topsail High School. Mrs. Wells also serves as HOSA advisor and CTE Department Chair at Topsail High. A graduate of North Carolina State University, she will complete her 18th year of teaching in Pender County in June.

“I love what I do,” Wells said after accepting the award. “I am passionate about what I do. My children call me ‘Mama Wells’ and I get to minister to them; I get to tell them how important where they go from here is.”

The Principal of the Year is Christopher Madden, Principal at Pender High School. Mr. Madden has served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal throughout his 10-year career in Pender County. He has earned master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Rowan University and also holds a bachelor’s degree from UNCW.

“Pender County is a wonderful place to be because of the people who work with our kids,” Madden said. “This is an opportunity for me to talk about Pender High School. Yes, I am Principal of the Year, but none of that matters without my staff — they are incredible. They don’t do it for praise, they don’t do it for recognition, they do it because it’s what’s best for our kids. We have a lot of work still ahead of us, and I have a lot of work to do as a school leader, but I think we are going in the right direction, I think the district is going in the right direction, and I thank our school board members for everything they do.”

The district’s AP of the Year is Melissa Wilson, who serves as Assistant Principal at North Topsail Elementary School. During her 12-year career in Pender County, Mrs. Wilson has served as a behavior support coach, Safe Schools/Healthy Students Coordinator, and Assistant Principal. She holds both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from UNCW.

“I have loved all of the schools I’ve worked in in Pender County,” Wilson said. “I am just honored that I was chosen. Thank you to all of the teachers who work with me because I can’t do what I do without their help and their dedication to the kids in our school.”


Pender County Schools also recognized four beginning teachers as Teachers of Promise: Kinsey Carder, Malpass Corner Elementary; Chicquita Cromartie, Pre-K; April Jenkins, Heide Trask High; and Madison Page, Burgaw Elementary.

Superintendent Dr. Terri Cobb with 2016-17 AP of the Year Melissa Wilson, Principal of the Year Chris Madden and Teacher of the Year Miranda Wells.
Pender County Schools Teachers of Promise Madison Page, April Jenkins, Chicquita Cromartie, and Kinsey Carder.

Congratulations to all of our Nominees:

Teachers of the Year

Alice Cuthbertson

Burgaw Elementary School

Maggie McKinley

Burgaw Middle School

Holly Greenoe

Cape Fear Elementary School

Joshua Bailey

Cape Fear Middle School

Jessica Croson

Heide Trask High School

Kaitlyn Conger

Malpass Corner Elementary School

Brandy Edwards

North Topsail Elementary School

Karen McGowen

Pender High School

Ashley Wall

Pender Early College High School

Melissa Miller

Penderlea School

Amy Schaeffer


Clara “Di” Moore

Rocky Point Elementary School

Emily Law

South Topsail Elementary School

Laura Beth Payne

Topsail Elementary School

Miranda Wells

Topsail High School

Melissa Gallagher

Topsail Middle School

Mary Myslow

West Pender Middle School

AP of the Year

April Perkins

Rocky Point Elementary

Kristy Walter

Topsail Middle

 Melissa Wilson

North Topsail Elementary

Principal of the Year

Chris Madden

Pender High

Dr. Dawn McKernan

Rocky Point Elementary

Anna Romero-Lehrer

Topsail Middle