Burroughs Wellcome Award Recognizes Garinger Teacher for Excellence

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — James Ford of Garinger High School is the 2014 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year. Ford is a ninth-grade world history teacher who began his career in Rockford Public Schools in Rockford, Illinois. He has been a teacher in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools since 2010.

The announcement was made today at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund luncheon in Cary, NC.

“North Carolina’s teachers are valued professionals who are providing a critical service to future generations of students,” said John Burris, president of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

As North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Ford will spend the next school year traveling the state as an ambassador for more than 95,000 teachers in the state. Ford, one of 9,000 teachers in CMS, is the first CMS teacher to win the prestigious award in more than 40 years. A CMS teacher won the first state teacher award in 1970.

“My personal journey has been both long and unorthodox,” Ford said. “But in the end, I realize that it was my passion that ultimately led me to my purpose—education.”

Ford was named the CMS Teacher of the Year in May 2013. In December 2013, he was named the Southwest Regional Teacher of the Year. 

He earned a bachelor of science in mass communication from Illinois State University in 2003 and a master’s degree in teaching from then-Rockford College in 2009. Ford is currently pursuing a degree in educational leadership from Wingate University. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.