ESL instructor Durham's Teacher of the Year

From Staff ReportsMay 11, 2012 

Alaina Burr, a teacher at Riverside High, was named Durham Public Schools 2012 Teacher of the Year


— Alaina Burr, a teacher at Riverside High, was named Durham Public Schools 2012 Teacher of the Year.

Burr, who teaches English as a Second Language, received the honor Thursday evening at a banquet recognizing Teachers of the Year from schools throughout Durham Public Schools. She was selected by a committee consisting of former Teachers of the Year.

“What I am most proud of is the learning environment I have created for my students and the success it fosters for them,” Burr said in a news release. “In my classroom, students no longer feel inhibited by their language abilities and take on leadership roles…As Durham Public Schools continues to embrace cultural diversity and global awareness, I recognize what an important asset these students are, and I strive to help them realize their potential.”

Burr has seven years of teaching experience and received her bachelor of arts from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is pursuing a master’s degree from Greensboro College.

“Alaina Burr is an exemplary professional,” said Superintendent Eric J. Becoats. “She brings passion to her profession and relentlessly pursues excellence in herself and her students.”

Each school in the district nominated a teacher of the year. The list was reduced to ten semi-finalists and then four finalists, including Burr and:

• Carrie Jacobsohn – Social Studies, Carrington Middle

• Karen Lodata – Fifth Grade, Holt Elementary

• Yolanda Reilly – Physical Education/Health, Shepard Middle

The Teacher of the Year is awarded a cash prize of $1,000. Each of the other finalists receives $500.

Burr will now compete for the Central Region Teacher of the Year.

Sponsors of the Teacher of the Year Banquet include Triangle Orthopaedics Associates and North Carolina Specialty Hospital.

For a complete list of Teacher of the Year finalists, visit

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