This week’s Hometown Hero, presented by Hendrick Southpoint, is Eugenia Floyd — a fourth-grade teacher at Mary Scroggs Elementary in Chapel Hill who was recently named the 2021 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year.
Floyd, a graduate of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System at East Chapel Hill High School, said in a release that her approach as a teacher has been shaped by her own experience as an African American student, often faced with what she saw as low expectations from her teachers.
“As a teacher, I strive to make sure my behavior and academic expectations are high for my students,” Floyd said. “I am a true believer that students will do what you expect them to do.”
Prior to being named North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Floyd was honored as the 2020 Teacher of the Year by CHCCS.
Principal of Scroggs Elementary Crystal Epps said in her letter recommendation for Teacher of the Year that Floyd is “an advocate for all her students, and she works tirelessly to make strides to close the achievement gap and dismantle systems and structures that operate with a fixed mindset.”
At Scrogg Elementary, Floyd teaches a unit focusing on social issues to help her students connect with the world around them. She facilitates discussions about their own experiences to broader societal issues such as racism and sexism.
“Not only do I want to make sure I teach my students material that can connect to the world around us,” she said in a release, “but I also want them to be able to use what they have learned in order to make themselves and the world a better place… When students are able to connect to their lives and world around them, learning will most definitely happen and stick.”
Listen to this week’s Hometown Hero segment: