Congratulations to our 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year Taylor-Grace White!

2020-2021 Teacher of the Year Taylor-Grace White surrounded by the 2019-2020 Principal of the Year Dr. Lorna Tobias and teachers and staff at City of Medicine Academy during the TOTY Celebration.

Taylor-Grace White

9-12th Grade English Teacher, City of Medicine Academy

A beloved educator who began her career at City of Medicine Academy seven years ago has been named the Durham Public Schools Teacher of the Year for 2020-21. English teacher Taylor-Grace White was surprised with the honor at the CMA campus in a safe, socially-distant celebration on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

“We could not properly celebrate all of our schools’ Teachers of the Year with our traditional banquet due to COVID-19,” said DPS Superintendent Pascal Mubenga. “But we had to take this moment to honor great teaching and commitment to our students, especially in these challenging times. Ms. White is a consummate professional and a powerful teacher. We are lucky to have her.”

White is the English department chair at CMA, where she teaches grades 9-12 and has consistently exceeded expectations for her students’ academic growth in English II for the last five years. She also works as an advocate at Student U, conducting weekly meetings with five students, communicating with their families, and creating individually-tailored academic improvement plans. She is a curriculum writer and professional development facilitator of Inquiry-Based Learning.

“Before she begins to teach content, she works diligently to build a relationship with each individual student,” said her principal, Dr. Jackie Tobias. “Ms. White takes the time to understand who her students are, what motivates them, and where their passions lie.”

White serves as advisor to the CMA Gay-Straight Alliance, and has also advised the school’s dance team and coached for Poetry Out Loud.

2020-2021 Teacher of the Year Award Presentation

2020-2021 Teacher of the Year Finalists

We are also proud of our Teacher of the Year finalists and semifinalists for all of their hard work and success in supporting our students and school communities.

  • Tonisha Coburn | Northern High | Science
  • Phylicia Jefferys | Spring Valley Elementary | 1st Grade
  • Glenda Narcisse | Hope Valley Elementary | 3rd Grade
  • Andrew Somers | Jordan High | Culinary Arts

2020-2021 Teacher of the Year Semifinalists

  • Desiree Anderson | Burton Magnet Elementary | Technology
  • Adrienne Jernigan | Oak Grove Elementary School | Music
  • Joann McAdon | Little River K-8 | 4th grade
  • Kia Allah | Neal Middle School | Spanish
  • Casey Myers | Durham School of the Arts | Spanish
Created By
Durham Public Schools Office of Public Affairs


Truitt O'Neal for Durham Public Schools Office of Public Affairs