Freebird McKinney, a social studies teacher at Walter M. Williams High School in Burlington, was named the 2018 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year during an awards luncheon today in Cary. McKinney was selected from a field of nine finalists representing the state’s eight education districts and charter schools.
McKinney has been teaching for 13 years, the last three at Williams High School, in the Alamance-Burlington School System, where he teaches World and European history and also is co-coordinator of the school’s International Baccalaureate Pathway Program.
A self-described “village teacher,” McKinney also sees his role as an educator reaching beyond the classroom, leading international service-learning adventures, working also as an adjunct professor at Elon University and serving as a community leader.
McKinney’s own education reflects his commitment to lifelong learning. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology in 1998, he earned a second bachelor’s degree in history from UNCG in 2004, then a master’s degree in education in 2006, also from UNCG, where he’s now working on a master’s degree in history.