Former banker selected as top HPS beginning teacher

Former banker selected as top HPS beginning teacher
Posted on 09/06/2019
eva winkler

Former banker selected as

top HPS beginning teacher


Eva Winkler, a former banker, has seen selected as the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) 2019-2020 Beginning Teacher of the Year for Hickory Public Schools.

Competing for the title against fourteen other HPS beginning teachers, Winkler is a first grade teacher at Jenkins Elementary School. This is her second year at Jenkins. She served as a kindergarten teacher during her first year at Jenkins and was previously a teacher for a portion of a school year with Webb A. Murray Elementary.

“I love coming to work!” said Winkler, reflecting on her decision to enter education.  “I enjoy every aspect of serving as a teacher—especially the opportunity to work with children who represent all levels of learning. I get to work with the ones who learn quickly and the ones who struggle; and then, together, we experience that wonderful moment when they finally capture the concept. It’s as though the heavens just opened up! No greater reward,” she said.

“I appreciate my mentor, Karen Taylor, and all of the faculty and staff. The Jenkins team is awesome and our principal, Dr. Calandra Davis, is absolutely amazing!” said Winkler.

Dr. Davis clearly believes that Winkler is pretty amazing, too:  “Mrs. Winkler is an excellent teacher who commits many hours both in and outside of the classroom working in support of her students,” said Davis. “I remember her last observation for the 2018-19 school year. There was a listening center, art center, math center, writing center, and reading center—in which students listened to Zeely Zoo as they read along with the story. I was so impressed with the level of student engagement and the behavior management skills she held as a first year teacher. She seems more like a veteran teacher.

“Mrs. Winkler works extremely well with her grade level peers, always sharing ideas about lesson plans and  research-based strategies. She is not only a team-player but a true ‘worker-bee.’  She has been seen, on several occasions, even mopping her classroom floor. Mrs. Winkler is an asset to our school and an overall wonderful educator and person!” said Davis.

Originally from Canandaigua, New York, Mrs. Winkler spent several years in Florida before moving to North Carolina in 2002.  Though she achieved a successful career in banking for 16 years, Winkler always felt the desire to teach. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education, graduating summa cum laude from Appalachian State University.

Eva and her husband, Thomas Winkler, are the parents of three adult children. Voted the “teacher with the cleanest room” during her initial teaching experience, Winkler admits she loves to keep things tidy and attractive. “I want the children to feel their classroom is inviting, safe, and a pleasant environment for learning,” she said. “I love decorating the classroom for every season—making it a fun and comfortable place for the children.”

Winkler admits she follows the same course of dedication at home—working hard on lesson plans for her students, cleaning, decorating, and taking time for pleasure reading.  “I am able to get so much done at home as I never watch television. We can accomplish a great deal in life if we use our time wisely,” said Winkler.

The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year process was developed to honor beginning teachers and to retain teachers who show promise as excellent teachers and education leaders in North Carolina public schools and public charter schools.

The North Carolina winner, to be announced in December, will receive $5,000 cash prize, participation in a GoGlobal NC trip to Australia in 2020, and instructional supply funds for the teacher’s school. The runner-up will receive $2,000 cash prize. Travel expenses will be awarded for regional winners to participate in NCCAT professional development and leadership development.

Special Congratulations to the HPS

Beginning Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Eva Winkler!

 (Post/photo by Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications)

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