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WNC Business

Lauren Schneider recognized as the HCPS Beginning Teacher of the Year

Sep 29, 2023 08:56AM ● By WNC Business

HENDERSONVILLE – Lauren Schneider, a third-grade teacher at Edneyville Elementary School, has been selected as the Henderson County Public Schools’ Beginning Teacher of the Year for 2023-2024. 

Ms. Schneider’s third-grade class, along with HCPS Superintendent Mark R. Garrett and the District’s leadership team, gathered in the library to celebrate her achievement. The celebration included sunflowers grown by students at Edneyville and a cake that Schneider shared with her class and guests. 

“We are proud to honor Ms. Schneider as the 2023-2024 Beginning Teacher of the Year. She is a standout educator who adds great value in all areas,” Superintendent Mark R. Garrett said. “Her focus on students and collaborative nature place her well beyond her years of experience. We are fortunate to have her at Edneyville and on the HCPS team.”

Schneider’s journey in education began four years ago when she joined HCPS as a substitute teacher. This is her second year at Edneyville, where she has been making an impact on her students’ lives in the third grade. Prior to her career in education, Schneider worked in clinical research until the birth of her two children when she took a break to dedicate her time to them. 

The North Carolina Prudential “Beginning Teacher of the Year” award was developed in 2019 by the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching to honor beginning teachers and to retain educators who show promise as excellent education leaders in North Carolina public schools. 

Principals from Henderson County’s 23 schools nominate beginning teachers and the Curriculum and Instruction staff select the overall district winner along with input from other stakeholders with knowledge of the various nominees’ work performance. 

Andrew VunCannon, Principal of Edneyville Elementary School, expressed his delight at Schneider’s accomplishment. “We are excited that Ms. Schneider has received such a tremendous honor and her hard work and growth as a teacher is being recognized," he said. "She is a tremendous asset to Edneyville Elementary, her students, and the school's culture. Beginning teachers like Ms. Schneider are evidence that the future of HCPS is very bright.”

In addition to her teaching abilities, Schneider is known for being hard working, reflective, and collaborative. She has worked within her Professional Learning Community and has been a valuable resource to the third-grade team as they incorporated the new Ready Math curriculum. 

“I am extremely humbled and grateful for the recognition. I would not be the teacher I am without the encouragement and collaboration that I have experienced working with many HCPS teachers, even during my time as a substitute teacher,” Schneider said. “ I am so proud to work at Edneyville alongside such hardworking teammates and the encouraging administrative team, Mr. VunCannon, and Ms. Rudi.” 

Regional finalists will attend a celebration and week of Teacher Leadership at NCCAT’s Cullowhee campus February 12-16, 2024, during which time the NCCAT BTOY Selection Committee will review portfolios and interview the 27 finalists. The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year winner will be announced at a celebration event on February 15, 2024.

The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year receives a $5,000 cash prize, participation in a GoGlobal NC trip, and instructional supply funds for the teacher's school. The runner-up receives a $2,000 cash prize and all finalists receive travel expenses to participate in NCCAT professional development and leadership development.

Source: Henderson County Public Schools