Hear what people say about Eric Tornfelt, 2012 Teacher of the Year.
Eric H. Tornfelt, who has taught civics and economics at Mallard Creek High since it opened in 2007, was named 2012 Teacher of the Year.
Tornfelt was named Teacher of the Year on Sunday, May 20, during a special presentation at Carowinds Theme Park. Carowinds hosted the ceremony to honor CMS employees, as the district celebrates Staff Appreciation Month.
"I am incredibly flattered and grateful for being awarded Teacher of the Year," said Tornfelt.
Tornfelt is a National Board Certified Teacher. He is known for dedicating his time outside of class to increase learning in the classroom. Tornfelt has attended the Supreme Court Summer Institute in 2008 and discussed “Building a Culture of Literacy” with CMS principals, managers and executive staff at the 2011 Leadership Conference. In addition, he is a part of the Mallard Creek literacy and Datawise teams and has been a participant in grant work from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the development and use of literacy strategies in CMS.
In 2011, Tornfelt founded Mallard Creek High’s Summer Mentoring Program, which he sees as one of the most important aspects of his work.
“Mentors are a resource for students to talk about the issues and problems that are affecting them,” he said. “When a student has an opportunity to meet regularly with an older person with even slightly more life experience, they can process what it looks like to become a young adult. Mentorship allows a young person to develop a healthy worldview and to learn what it means to make decisions based on their personal convictions.”
Tornfelt earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Furman University, a master’s of arts in teaching from UNCC and is working on a license in school administration at Wingate University.
Mallard Creek Principal Nancy Brightwell said what makes Tornfelt an excellent teacher is that he makes classroom learning engaging.
"I've been in his classroom and I've seen how his students react to him. He goes out of his way to make sure he teaches content, but he also shows them how to live their lives through positive examples," said Brightwell.
“It is an honor to have Eric Tornfelt represent the Northeast Zone as teacher of the year. He exemplifies those attributes that make adults remark about the one teacher in their lives that helped them turn a corner,” Northeast Zone Superintendent Dr. Dawn Robinson said.
She said she knew the district made a right choice for the Northeast Zone Teacher of the Year when his students showed the most enthusiasm for his reward.
“He, like so many other teachers in CMS, think of teaching as a calling or an avocation,” said Robinson.
Five finalists competed for the distinction as Teacher of the Year.
The 2012 Teacher Assistant of the Year winner is Cindy Corwin of J.H. Gunn Elementary School.
Three finalists competed for the Teacher Assistant of the Year.
Hear what students and colleagues say about Cindy Corwin, 2012 Teacher Assistant of the Year.