North Cross School Middle School History Teacher and Varsity Tennis Coach Heather Lawrence has been awarded the 2009 North Cross School Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award was presented to Lawrence during the annual Founders’ Day event on Jan. 30, in the Carter Athletic Center.
“I’m honored to have been chosen for this award,” said Lawrence. “Many of the past recipients have been mentors to me during the last eight years I’ve spent here at North Cross School. It’s truly an honor to be recognized with such a talented group of educators.”
Now in its ninth year, The North Cross School Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes a faculty member who has a minimum of three years teaching experience at North Cross School, expertise in his or her field, and the ability to effectively communicate that expertise/knowledge, the desire and commitment to grow professionally, and participation in the greater School community through co-curricular activities. Nominations for the award are made by students, faculty, and alumni.
“I am especially pleased that Ms. Lawrence is receiving this award,” said Headmaster Timothy J. Seeley. “It not only honors the great work she has done at North Cross School, but also the importance of the middle school for our students. I have enjoyed watching Heather move from an enthusiastic but inexperienced young teacher when she first arrived into an accomplished and talented educator who is an exceedingly important part of our middle school. In the finest traditions of independent schools, she not only excels in the classroom, but contributes mightily as an advisor, coach, and overseer of the middle school intramural program. The award is well deserved.”
Lawrence, who has a bachelor’s degree from Roanoke College, began teaching in 2000 in Roanoke City, where she began as a teaching assistant for third, fourth, and fifth graders. In 2001, she came to NCS as a middle school history teacher. Lawrence also coaches the women’s varsity tennis team. During the seven years she has coached the team, Lawrence has led the Lady Raiders to the Blue Ridge Conference tournament three times, winning the conference title in 2004. She also sponsors the Middle School Intramural Club.
The daughter of two educators, Lawrence’s love for teaching is shown not only in the classrooms at NCS but also in her involvement in the community. She teaches Sunday school to seventh and eighth grade girls at St. John’s Lutheran Church, is involved in the Roanoke Valley Junior League, and has a “little brother” in Roanoke’s Big Brother, Big Sister program. She has also played in charity tennis tournaments with her dad in northern Virginia in recent years.
Lawrence will receive a stipend in recognition of the accomplishment.
Past recipients include:
2008 – Upper School History Teacher Richard Cook
2007 – Upper School English Teacher Gates DeHart
2006 – First Grade Teacher Betsy Cook
2005 – Middle School Science Teacher Sandy Patterson
2004 – Junior Kindergarten Teacher Temple Glenn (retired)
2003 – Upper School Science Teacher Jerry Maycock (retired)
2002 – Middle and Upper School Latin Teacher Margaret Grayson
2001 – Fifth Grade Teacher Mary Lou Sallade (retired)