Alumni News

UNC School of Education honors five outstanding educators

Excellence in Teaching Award Citation

Cynthia Cole Rigsbee

Those who know her well are quick to tell you that Cindi Rigsbee has wanted to be a teacher from the day she was born. They also consistently point out that this calling instilled in her a deep commitment to our profession and to educating all children.

Cindi is a model educator -- the teacher every child should have every year. She received our state’s highest teaching honor this year when she was named the 2008-2009 North Carolina Teacher of the Year.

Her excellence as a teacher has been evident to all who have worked with Cindi since she graduated from the School of Education in 1979. She has taught middle school language arts, reading, drama and dance in five school systems. In 1996, she was named Teacher of the Year by the Durham Public Schools. She returned to Carolina in 2001 to pursue a master’s degree, which she completed in 2003. Today, Cindi is a sixth- and seventh-grade reading resource teacher at Gravelly Hill Middle School in Orange County.

Cindi treats her students with the utmost respect.  Never is any child less worthy than another. Like many great classroom teachers, she’s often called upon to take on duties outside the classroom. But she never allows herself to be far from the students she serves.

As one veteran educator put it, “If the teachers of Cindi Rigsbee’s quality were available for every student, we wouldn’t be talking about students dropping out or not being able to read.”

Her success in work and life are due in large part to her enthusiasm and compassion. She has an affinity for finding connections with everyone she meets, and is always spreading her positive outlook. She clearly loves what she is doing and believes that her work is important. Says one colleague: “She keeps things in perspective with humor and sees an opportunity rather than a problem.”

In honor of her vast talents as a teacher and her dedication to educational achievement, we are proud to bestow the Excellence in Teaching Award to Cindi Rigsbee.

September 27, 2008