A fourth-grade teacher at Powell Elementary School was named Wake County's Teacher of the Year at a ceremony Thursday evening.
Ann Quarles, who has taught for seven years, was noted for her enthusiasm and ability to encourage students in her class.
Quarles has taught at Powell, a gifted and talented magnet school, for two years.
"It honestly feels strange to be standing here by myself," Quarles said as she accepted her award. "Teaching is a team effort."
And her team wasn't far. A group of colleagues stood nearby cheering.
"She engages the children in explicit, focused and differentiated instruction that is both engaging and challenging," Powell's principal, Jimmy Sposato, said in a news release. "Her room is covered with charts that provide a record of student learning."
Quarles is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association, and is an alumna of Teach for America, a program that encourages teachers to work in low-income areas.
Outside of school, Quarles volunteers in her church's food pantry and teaches Sunday school.
Winners of the coveted award are showered with gifts, including a $1,000 check, a year's use of a Saturn automobile, a laptop computer, a travel cart filled with office supplies, and $1,500 toward participation in the global study program of the Center for International Understanding.