SOE News

School of Education honoring five at 2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon

The School of Education and its Alumni Council will hold its 2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon on Saturday, Sept. 24.

The School will honor five people for their contributions to education.

Matt Sears (M.A.T. ’04) will receive the Excellence in Teaching Award. Sears is a mathematics teacher at Hillside New Tech High School in Durham. He was a 2010 winner of the prestigious Career Awards for Science and Mathematics Teachers from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and was the 2008 Teacher of the Year for Durham Public Schools.

Gus Martin (M.ED. '73, PH.D. '83) will be given the Distinguished Leadership Award. Martin is a retired public school administrator and is president and founder of Martin Education Associates and the co-founder of The Leadership Group for the Carolinas, an education administration consulting group.

Two people will receive Alumni Achievement Awards: Karen Ann Erickson (PH.D. '95) and Clarence York (A.B. ’49). Erickson is the David E. & Dolores (Dee) Yoder Distinguished Professor of Literacy and Disability Studies and the director of the Center for Literacy & Disability Studies in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine’s Department of Allied Health Sciences. York is president of Clarence N. York Associates, an international consulting firm that assists agencies that serve children and adults with disabilities.

The School’s Peabody Award will go to Bill McNeal, who devoted most of his career to the Wake County Public School System, serving as superintendent from 2000 to 2006. In June he stepped down after serving five years as executive director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators.

The Peabody Award may be given to alumni or friends of the School of Education or UNC-Chapel Hill who have made an extraordinary impact on the field of education. The other awards are presented only to alumni or faculty of the School of Education.

The event will be held at the Carolina Inn, adjacent to the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.
For more information about the event, contact Laurie Norman, director of alumni affairs at the School of Education, by emailing her at or by calling 919-843-6979.