Cabarrus County Education Foundation


The Cabarrus County Education Foundation contributes each year to the recognition ceremonies and awards for the Cabarrus County Schools Teacher of the Year. Thank you to SunTrust Bank for providing the funds to give each teacher who was nominated an award as well as the overall winner.

Emily Francis, an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at W. M. Irvin Elementary School, has been named the 2016-2017 CCS Teacher of the Year

teacher of the year 2016Congratulations to Emily Francis, an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at W. M. Irvin Elementary School, who was named Cabarrus County Schools Teacher of the Year in a ceremony on May 5th at the Cabarrus Arts Council’s Davis Theater.
Francis began her career with CCS in 2004 as a teacher assistant. This experience, combined with her personal experience of moving to the United States from Guatemala when she was 15, inspired her to become an ESL educator.

Since 2004, Francis has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as a graduate certificate in teaching ESL from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. In 2012, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a teacher when she started her teaching career at W.M. Irvin.
As an ESL teacher, Francis says her primary goal is to teach English to students whose dominant form of communication is in a language other than English. Not only does she teach her students, she also serves as a liaison and advocate for her students and their families. She conducts quarterly meetings with families to share information about how parents can help support the linguistic, academic, social, and cultural development of their child.

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Courtney Smith2

Courtney Smith has been named the 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year for Cabarrus County Schools

Courtney Smith, a seventh-grade English teacher at C. C. Griffin Middle School, was named the 2013-14 Teacher of the Year for Cabarrus County Schools. Smith is in her second year of teaching at the school and has been employed with the school system for four years.

“I’m speechless,” Smith said, upon receiving the award. “I can’t thank you all enough. I love what I do. It’s been exciting to talk with other people who truly love what we do…It’s just been amazing. I thank you so much for letting me have this opportunity.”

Smith was one of the five finalists honored at a breakfast the school system hosted at Cabarrus Family Medicine.

The other finalists were Emily Causey from R. Brown McAllister Elementary School; Jennifer McCarthy from Jay M. Robinson High School; Justin Pierce from Central Cabarrus High School; and Heather Wilson from Cox Mill High School.

Thirty-three teachers were interviewed for the award, the school system said, and the finalists were announced in early April. They were each observed in their classrooms last month.

Cabarrus County Schools Superintendent Barry Shepherd called the group the “hall of fame of educators” at Wednesday’s breakfast.

“It’s just very nice to have this positive recognition,” Smith said. “It’s good for everybody. It’s not just about me. It’s about my school. We’re doing good things there. It’s a chance to tell people about it.”

Kelly Bumgardner has been named the 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year for Cabarrus County SchoolsKelly Bumgardner web

Superintendent Chris Lowder announced Bumgardner’s selection at the Teacher of the Year celebration evening on May 5th.The night was hosted by Hickory Ridge High School and food and beverage prepared and served by the Culinary Art Students on campus.

Bumgardner, who teaches English Language Arts at Northwest Cabarrus Middle Schools, was selected among four other CCS teachers who were named finalists in March.

The remaining four finalists are Ashley Chastain – A.T. Allen Elementary School; Jessica Enlow – Cox Mill High School; Angela Martin – J.N. Fries Magnet School; Ryan Shaver – Mount Pleasant High School.

Bumgardner also serves as the academically and intellectually gifted (AIG) chairperson at Northwest Cabarrus Middle School, as well as the 7th grade cheerleading coach.

Title sponsors for this event include SunTrust Bank, the Great Wolf Lodge, Hayes Charitable Trust and Liberty Mutual. All other sponsors include the Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Kannapolis Intimidators, Autobell Car Wash, Panera Bread, Chick-fil-a, Mary Kay and The Frosted Butterfly. She also will receive a $1,000 voucher for a technology purchase for her classroom.

Allison Hahn has been named the 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year for Cabarrus County Schools

Superintendent Barry Shepherd announced Hahn’s selection at a celebration dinner on April 28th.Allison Hahn
Hahn, who teaches math at Central Cabarrus High School, was selected among four other finalists who were chosen from a field of 26 outstanding CCS teachers.
Liberty Mutual contributed a $400 cash gift to Hahn for her selection as Teacher of the Year. She also will receive a $1,000 voucher for a technology purchase for her classroom. Hahn and the other finalists also will receive prizes from the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Great Wolf Lodge and the Hayes Charitable Trust.
The remaining four finalists are Sarah Collins – Coltrane Webb Elementary School; Brian Floyd – Concord High School; Nancy Kapp – J.N. Fries Magnet School; and Chris White – Hickory Ridge High School
 “We congratulate Allison on receiving this honor,” said Shepherd. “Her commitment and dedication to her students is evident through the enthusiasm, love, support, and compassion she exhibits each day. We are honored to have her as a part of the Cabarrus County Schools family. ”The competition began with nominations from each school within the district. A selection committee interviewed each nominee, and selected the five finalists, who were observed in their classrooms.

The following teachers were the other finalists for the CCS Teacher of the Year for 2014-2015:

  • Sarah Collins – Coltrane Webb STEM Elementary
  • Brian Floyd – Concord High School
  • Nancy Kapp – JN Fries Middle School
  • Chris White – Hickory Ridge High School
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Please support the Cabarrus County Education Foundation. To donate, contact Amy Gough at