Excellence in teaching


WILMINGTON—The Wilmington Schools Foundation recently presented the 2015 “Williams Excellence in Teaching Awards” to three Wilmington teachers during its staff recognition breakfast.

Established in 1995 by Wilmington High School’s Class of 1945, the Williams Award honors the memory of devoted teachers Woodrow and Esther Williams, who dedicated their professional lives to excellence in education. Each year the award is given to teachers who reflect the enthusiasm, dedication, preparation, and inspiration the Williams exhibited.

Wilmington High School Principal Brent Carey, praised Justin Tomblin, a five-year veteran teacher who teaches Biology and Chemistry. “Justin’s biggest strength is his engaging teaching style and his rapport with students,” said Carey. “It has been fun to watch Justin grow through the years into even a stronger teacher. His style allows him to reach learners of all different levels.”

Jeff Sherby, principal of Wilmington Middle School, recognized 15-year veteran teacher Shari Murphy who teaches seventh grade English. “This year’s award winner is a teacher with a student growth measure of ‘Most Effective,’” said Sherby, “which is no surprise if you have ever observed her in the classroom.” Sherby went on to praise Murphy for her commitment to communicate with parents on a regular basis. Murphy has taught at WMS for the last seven years.

Denver Place Elementary Principal, Karen Long, praised 12-year veteran teacher Suzanne Gripenberg. “Her enthusiasm and excellence can easily be observed in the classroom and beyond,” said Long, and “her excellence can be observed in her solid preparation of her lessons. Suzanne is dedicated to teaching and to students.”

Carrying on the tradition and commitment to excellence in education, Tomblin, Murphy, and Gripenberg serve as an inspiration not only to their students but to their colleagues as well.

Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.