Jordan Todd, a second-grade teacher at Walter G. Byers Elementary, is the 2016 Teacher of the Year for Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.
CMS made the announcement Wednesday during a ceremony at Providence High.
Todd represents the Project L.I.F.T. learning community. Project L.I.F.T. is a public-private partnership that, through an affiliation with nine schools, seeks to improve the way students who traditionally perform poorly in school are educated.
Todd teaches second-grade at Walter G. Byers, considered one of the district’s most resegregated and low-performing schools. Her students have been with her since they were kindergartners.
The extended time together has helped Todd create stronger bonds with the children and their parents, Todd said in a profile published by CMS.
Todd, whose mother is also a teacher, earned a bachelor’s degree at UNC Charlotte and is now enrolled in a master’s degree program there in curriculum and instruction.
She went into the mental health field before committing to education. “I saw a lot of factors that lead to the learning deficits our students face as they grow older,” Todd said in a CMS profile. “I learned how to help students succeed.”
Todd saw a job post for a Project L.I.F.T. position in CMS in August 2012 and decided to apply.
“I felt like every bullet point of who they were looking for was me,” she said in the profile. “I knew that there is so much to creating a well-rounded child: community and parent engagement, mental and physical health. I could play a role in closing the achievement gap.”
“Ms. Todd embodies the spirit of Project L.I.F.T,” said Principal Anthony Calloway told CMS. “She prides herself on educating the whole child and being a support in school as well as in the community. She is a mentor, tutor, coach and pillar of support for our scholars, parents, and her peers.”
Six other teachers were finalists, one from each of the district’s other learning communities:
Maggie Barker, Park Road Montessori, Central Learning Community.
Natasha Deese, Butler High, East Learning Community.
Heather Glover, Blythe Elementary, North Learning Community.
Rob Leichner, West Mecklenburg High, West Learning Community.
Justin Parmenter, E.E. Waddell, South Learning Community.
Lauren Rohrer, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle, Northeast Learning Community.