A local teacher received statewide honors from her peers at the 48th annual meeting of the N.C. Association for the Gifted and Talented in Winston-Salem on March 3. Cumberland County Schools teacher Sarena Myers was the recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Gifted Award.
Myers is the academically and intellectually gifted (AIG) teacher for District 7, J.W. Seabrook and Beaver Dam elementary schools.
AIG program coordinator Aritia Smalls says Myers is deserving of the honor and describes her as "hardworking, studious, and, most importantly, kindhearted," according to a news release.
"Just like a forensic scientist, Mrs. Myers plunges herself into the work of uncovering the gifts and talents that often lie below the surface," said Smalls. "With a keen eye for detail, she uses all her skills to ensure that no rock is left unturned when screening and identifying students who demonstrate a need for differentiated services."
Smalls says Myers annually engages her students in investigative learning that allows them to see their own world through the eyes of a scientist. Collecting data, analyzing evidence and drawing conclusions is how she guides her students through the critical thinking process, Small says.
"Every year there are 'Pickle Autopsies' and 'Art of Fingerprinting' units taking place in Mrs. Myers’ classroom," says Smalls. "She spends a great deal of her time creating and preparing these awesome lessons; unaware of how much her students and colleagues admire her."