Burns Middle Teacher Assistant Named Best in County

Burns Middle Teacher Assistant Named Best in County
Posted on 10/16/2020

Outdoor pic of Jeanne WestJeanne West of Burns Middle has been named the Teacher Assistant of the Year for Cleveland County Schools.  She was recognized during a surprise visit by a small entourage that includes school administrators, district leaders, and school board members. 

“There are so many wonderful, caring [teaching] assistants in our school district,” said West. “It’s an honor to be chosen for this recognition. I hope to live up to it.”

West previously worked in education for two years in Louisville, Kentucky, and nine years in Kingsport, Tennessee. She has worked 19 years as a teacher assistant in the Exceptional Children’s Department with Cleveland county Schools, totaling over 30 years of experience in education.

“I would like to think that I am best known for advocating for the students, especially those who could use a little extra boost,” explained West. “Each of them needs someone in their corner and to have the opportunity to be successful.”

This year’s finalists for Cleveland County Schools Teacher Assistant of the Year also included Stephanie Bright of North Shelby School, Maggie Tate of Boiling Springs Elementary, and Katelyn Cooke of Bethware Elementary. After a thorough interview with the panel of community school enthusiasts, Jeanne West surfaced as this year’s winner.

A pic of Stephanie Bright A pic of Maggie Tate
A pic of Katelyn Cooke
Stephanie Bright
Teacher Assistant of the Year Finalist
North Shelby School
Maggie Tate
Teacher Assistant of the Year Finalist
Boiling Springs Elementary
Katelyn Cooke
Teacher Assistant of the Year Finalist

Bethware Elementary


“Two words popped into my head when I was asked about some of the rewards of being a teacher assistant at Burns Middle School: students and staff,” added West. “Many of the students who I teach in reading and math groups are students that I worked with while at Fallston Elementary. I have loved continuing the relationships that I have been able to build with these students over the years. As an added bonus, I have been able to cultivate new relationships with students who have come to BMS from other schools. We have a great group of students.”

West received a monetary award from Wells Fargo and will receive a glass apple handcrafted by N.C. artist Robert Levine.  The Cleveland County YMCA gifted her a year-long membership, and the school district added a gift basket full of aromatic items and lotions from local stores.