Science teacher from Cuthbertson High takes the UCPS top teacher title
Union County Public Schools named Maya Schultz, a science teacher at Cuthbertson High School, as its 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year during their Teacher of the Year Banquet Tuesday, April 26.
“This is not an award for me,” she said. “It’s got my name on it, but there are many people who helped me earn this distinction today. I’m here because of the incredible mentors I’ve had over my professional career and because of the incredible support I’ve had from all directions.”
Schultz, an 11-year veteran teacher, thanked her husband, Chad Schultz, who is also a teacher at Cuthbertson High School, for his ongoing support and for the time he spends with their children, often taking up the slack when she has to work late.
Schultz also thanked Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis and the leadership at UCPS for putting teachers’ needs and the classroom first.
“Across the United States, everyone says, ‘Teachers are our most important thing,” Schultz said. “We care about our teachers.’ But in Union County, we’ve got leadership who says it and shows it, too. You do appreciate the teachers in Union County and we appreciate it so much.”
Her principal, Rob Jackson, was not surprised that Schultz was chosen to represent Union County, noting that she is a “teacher in every sense of the word. It defines who she is.”
Jackson said that Schultz works hard to ensure every student in her science classes is successful. “She stretches them with hands-on activities and stops at nothing to make sure they have everything they need to learn the material, including heading into the woods to find enough insects for experiments. She is the kind of teacher who arrives early to tutor students and stays late to prepare labs for the next day.”
Jackson said Schultz has even worked on Saturdays with the club she sponsors, cleaning trash from the side of the road. “I am proud of Mrs. Schultz and know that she will be a wonderful representative for the teachers of Union County.”
Schultz has lived in North Carolina for nine years. She grew up in Ithaca, New York, receiving her Bachelor’s in biology from Cornell University, and her teaching credentials from Eastern Michigan University. She earned her Master’s in Science Education from North Carolina State University.
Over the last four years, Schultz has taught at two Union County schools, first at Parkwood High and then Cuthbertson High when it opened.
For winning the countywide Teacher of the Year title, Schultz will receive $500, a laptop computer and a Teacher of the Year ring.
“What she does in the classroom every day is the work of an artist,” Davis said. “I think teaching is an art. Good teaching is good teaching, and those of us who are in the field know it when we see it.”
Davis then addressed all the teachers of the year who had won on a school level. “You folks are outstanding,” he said. “We are so truly blessed to have you in this school system. There are reasons that our students are doing so well. It’s because of you. That’s why it’s easy for me, in our budget situation, to make you the number one priority.”
Andrew Rosene, a Spanish teacher at Cuthbertson High School, was last year’s UCPS Teacher of the Year. Rosene reflected on the past year, noting that it was a yearlong learning experience.
“Let me say how honored I’ve been to be the teacher of the year at Cuthbertson High School and for UnionCounty Public Schools,” he said. “I display the plaques that I have, like the ones you’ll get tonight, with pride. But those plaques aren’t any more important to me than a crumpled up piece of notebook paper from one of my students that says, ‘Rosene, you make Spanish come alive.’
“We all have those mementos,” Rosene added. “Remember yours. Pull them out when times are tough. And take time to praise, encourage and support your colleagues, especially ones who are giving their all, but who haven’t been invited to adinner like this.”
The 2011 Teacher of the Year Banquet, held at Rolling Hills Country Club, was sponsored by Pierce Group Benefits.