Three Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools educators, who have had distinguished careers of more than 15 years teaching Art, Science or History, or who have creatively infused arts, science or history into the core academic curriculum and demonstrated school and community leadership and dedication to the field of education were honored with the Arts and Science Council's Cato Lifetime Achievement in Teaching Award.
Each award recipient receives $5,000 and an original work of art. The award is made possible through an endowment gift made to ASC from The Cato Corporation.
The 2020 recipients are:
Corey Mitchell (arts) - Mitchell has been transforming lives in his role as a theatre arts educator at Northwest School of the Arts since 2001, through his impressive career spanning 25 years. Mitchell has directed 70 major productions, 16 cabaret shows, 14 music revue shows and over 40 plays for NWSA and other arts organizations in the Charlotte region. In 2013, Mitchell produced and directed "The Color Purple" at NWSA. The production was selected for performance on the main stage at the International Thespian Festival, leading Mitchell to spearhead a fundraising campaign for over $170,000 to cover the cost of performing. Among Mitchell's myriad accolades is receiving the inaugural Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre Education in 2015.
Connie Wood (science) - Wood's 26 years of teaching at East Mecklenburg High School have not only impacted her local community but have also benefitted students and teachers nationally and internationally. Through her participation in three Yale National Initiative Seminars as an attendee and as a National Committee member (2009-2010), Wood developed and published science curricula for teachers across the country. Using knowledge gained through this experience Yale Teacher Institute model, she helped develop the Charlotte Teacher Institute. In 2016 and 2017, Wood traveled to Rwanda to work with students and teachers in enhancing STEM education at their schools. Her teaching philosophy centers around joy, wonder and exploration.
Ronny Reddig (history) - Currently teaching at Piedmont Middle School, Reddig has spent 27 years serving Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools through his intentionality in the classroom and building relationships with students, parents, co-workers and community members at large. Reddig emphasizes a holistic approach to education, evident in his robust participation in school and community leadership positions, such as the International Baccalaureate Committee at his school and the Young Black Leadership Alliance. Reddig encourages students to engage with multiple perspectives of history, thereby promoting equity and diversity in his classroom. Throughout his career, Reddig has consistently received recognition for his exemplary teaching. Most recently, he was selected as the 2016 Magnet Schools of America Teacher of the Year for Region IV.
"Creativity plays an important role in helping students expand their thinking, evaluate complex issues and solve problems," said ASC President Jeep Bryant. "We are proud to recognize these exceptionally creative and innovative teachers whose lifetime achievements as educators in arts, science or history have greatly enriched the lives of the students."
The award, established in 2012 and given every three years, honors Pre-K to grade 12 teachers in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Union counties in North Carolina, or Lancaster and York counties in South Carolina.
To be considered eligible for the award, individuals must be a Pre-K through 12th grade teacher working for (or retired within the last 2 years from) a public, charter or independent school in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln or Union counties in North Carolina, or Lancaster or York counties in South Carolina.