Skip to content

The 21st annual Flame For Learning Award - honoring Johnston County's top teachers

The Chambers of Commerce in Johnston County presented the 21st Flame For Learning Award at a banquet on May 15 at the Johnston County Agricultural Center.

Named recipient of the award was Emily Westbrook, a 12th grade English teacher at West Johnston High School.

The banquet had been postponed from April 29 due to tornado warnings in Johnston County that night.

With the award comes the title of Johnston County Schools Teacher of the Year. Westbrook's best practice was “Welcome to 1984.” As the Flame for Learning Award winner she received a cash award of $1000, along with $1000 from the Johnston County Education Foundation. Westbrook will go on to compete for the North Carolina Teacher of the Year, beginning with regional competition in the fall of 2014.

The three remaining finalists, Tracie Zukowski of Smithfield Middle School – Best Practice: “Communication! That’s What We Do!,” Megan Lee of Four Oaks Elementary School – Best Practice: “Teacher Turned Author and Illustrator,” and Robin Hiatt of Powhatan Elementary School – Best Practice: “Counting on the Community - A Video Problem of the Day Project,” each received $300. The schools of the winner and finalists each received $250.

The Chambers of Commerce in Johnston County (Benson, Clayton, Cleveland, Four Oaks, Kenly, Princeton and Smithfield-Selma) adopted the Flame for Learning Award because of the importance of teachers 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 public schools. This award recognizes outstanding creativity and innovation in the classroom and nominees are selected strictly on merit, without regard to school or residence. More than 350 teachers were nominated and were asked to submit a "best practice" that they used in the classroom. A selection committee named semifinalists after reviewing the best practices. The semifinalists participated in an interview process to determine the recipient and the finalists.

The remaining semi-finalists for the 2014 Flame for Learning Award received $100 each and are listed below.

Amanda Johnson, Archer Lodge Middle
Jennifer Thorne, Clayton Middle
Laura Hines, Corinth-Holders Elementary
Michelle Disney, Glendale-Kenly Elementary
Marcia Kephart, Polenta Elementary
Tyler McKenzie, Polenta Elementary
Jeanne Beasley, Powhatan Elementary
Sueav Avera, Princeton Middle/High
Christy Klein, Princeton Middle/High
Amy Hines, River Dell Elementary
Shannon Pawlak, Riverwood Elementary
Doug Pawlak, Riverwood Middle
Joseph Smith, Smithfield-Selma High
Karen McCann, South Campus Middle
Tamara Adams, West Smithfield Elementary
Stephanie Caviness, Wilson's Mills Elementary

Photo above: Award Recipient Emily Westbrook with Chamber Community Information Specialist Fallon Pleasants

The 2014 Flame for Learning semifinalists stand with Johnston County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Croom and Johnston County Board of Education Chairman Larry Strickland during the Flame for Learning event held on May 15.

More photos from the Flame for Learning Award Banquet

Scroll To Top