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Smithfield-Selma High's Cynthia Hutchings receives 2015 Flame For Learning Award

Smithfield-Selma High School’s Cynthia Hutchings is the recipient of the 22nd Annual Flame for Learning Award.
Hutchings, a 9th grade English 1 teacher, was honored at the annual Flame for Learning Banquet held on April 28 at the Johnston County Agricultural Center. Chick-fil-A of Smithfield was the presenting sponsor of the award and Rev. Lee Colbert, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Smithfield, was the keynote speaker. Musical entertainment was provided by the South Johnston High School Ensemble.
Hosted by the county’s Chambers of Commerce, the award comes with the title of Johnston County School District Teacher of the Year. Hutchings’ classroom best practice was “Service Learning.” The practice taught students about the benefits of participating in activities that serve the community. Students were required to develop a service learning project that not only assisted an individual or organization but also helped the students grow academically and personally.
As the Flame for Learning Award winner Hutchings received a cash award of $1,000, along with a $500 grant from the Johnston County Education Foundation. She will go on to compete for the North Carolina Teacher of the Year, beginning with regional competition in the fall of 2015.
Three finalists for the award were, Amy Hines, a 5th grade math & science teacher at River Dell Elementary School – Best Practice: Tap Your Feet to the Classroom Beat; Greer Suggs, a 6-8th grade creative writing teacher at Clayton Middle School – Best Practice: Thank You, Veterans; and Helen Westbrook, a special education teacher at North Johnston High School – Best Practice: IMPACT Club, each received $300. The schools of the recipient and finalists each received $250.
The Chambers of Commerce in Johnston County adopted the Flame for Learning Award because of the importance that teachers play 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 school district. This award recognizes outstanding creativity and innovation of teachers and the impact they are having on their students. More than 250 teachers were nominated and were asked to submit a "best practice" that they used in the classroom. A selection committee named 20 semifinalists after reviewing the best practices, without knowledge of the teacher’s name, address or school. The 20 semifinalists later participated in an interview process to determine the recipient and the finalists.
The remaining 16 semi-finalists for the 2015 Flame for Learning Award received $100 each and are:
Megan Beck - Smithfield-Selma High
Ashley Blevins - Riverwood Elementary
Annah Creech - Clayton Middle
Evan Dempster - Clayton Middle
Sharon Glenn - Smithfield Middle
Kimberly Harkins - Clayton High
Kira Higgins - West Smithfield Elementary
Bethany Jones - Smithfield-Selma High
Janice Peacock - Corinth Holders High
Amanda Pierce - Riverwood Middle
Therese Polito - Smithfield-Selma High
Elizabeth Shepard - Corinth Holders High
Pamela Stich - Cooper Elementary
Malena Thieme - Riverwood Elementary
Valorie Trombley - Riverwood Elementary
Marisa Wiggins - Meadow School
In addition to Chick-fil-A of Smithfield, 68 Johnston County business and civic organizations helped sponsor this year’s Flame For Learning Award. They include:
Chick-fil-A of Smithfield
Johnston County Education Foundation with Sysco Food Services
Johnston County School District
Dixie Denning LP Gas
The Farm
Johnston County Visitors Bureau
Johnston Health
Princeton Chamber of Commerce
Walmart of Smithfield
Zaxby’s of Clayton & Smithfield
Clarity Vision—Dr Hilburn & Associates
Clayton Chamber of Commerce
Clayton Mid-Day Rotary Club
Duke Energy
First Citizens Bank
Four Oaks Bank & Trust
Golden Corral of Smithfield
Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce
Interstate Outdoor, Inc.
KS Bank, Inc.
Mast Law Firm
Memory Lane Frame Shop
McDonald’s - F & D Huebner, LLC
Novo Nordisk Pharmaceutical Industries
Parker General Contractors, LLC
Pernell, Inc.
Pizza Inn
Sleep Inn & Suites of Smithfield
Willowrun Veterinary Hospital
Wood Termite & Pest Control
Woody’s Computing Service
The Armstrong Law Firm, P.A.
AT&T North Carolina
Atlantic Coast Protein Corp.
Barbour Court Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
Benson Area Chamber of Commerce
Benson Lions Club
Benton Card Company
Carroll Pharmacy
Coldwell Banker Advantage—Janet Kleinert
Daughtry, Woodard, Lawrence & Starling, PA
Deacon Jones Auto Park
Galot Motorsports
Fairfield Inn & Suites of Smithfield
Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce
Harbor, Inc.—Janet Wilson
Hog Slat Inc.
John H. Scovil & Associates, PA
Dorothy Johnson
Johnston County Alumnae Chapter of  Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
Johnston County Farm Bureau Insurance - Keith Brinson
Kenly Area Chamber of Commerce
Kiwanis Club of Benson
Liberty Commons of Johnston County
Mitchell Temporary Services
Narron, O’Hale & Whittington, PA, Benson Office
Dr. Dicky Parrish
Parrish Cleaning Service
Mark & Regina Ryan
Selma Middle School
Dr. Peggy Smith
Stephenson General Contractors
Watson, Cooke & Jones, CPA
Donna White
Wilkins, Wellons, & Coats, Attorneys
Wood Accounting and Pharmacy
The Johnston County Association of Chambers of Commerce sponsors several programs throughout the year, including the Flame for Learning Award, Leadership Johnston, the Johnston County Legislative Reception and the Johnston County Economic Development Luncheon.

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