Each year, the UNC Greensboro School of Education (SOE) honors a group of alumni, recognizing them for their achievements and contributions to the world of education, leadership, research methodology, library science, and counseling. We hope that the remarkable successes of these alumni will inspire our new graduates, and represent the enormous value of a degree from the School of Education.

Nominations for the 2020-2021 SOE Alumni Awards are now open through March 5, 2021! The SOE encourages you to submit nominations for deserving alumni for the Early Career, Distinguished Career, Outstanding Achievement, and Distinguished Service awards. Learn more about each category here.

Alumni Awards nominations can be made by our alumni, community members, faculty, students, and anyone who knows an alumna or alumnus who is deserving of one of our four awards. We also encourage self nominations!

Learn more and submit nominations here, and view previous Alumni Award Winners here.

Wishing to recognize the significant impact that so many educators have made in the lives of students, the UNC Greensboro School of Education (SOE) is thrilled to announce its 2020 Class of Inspirational Educators.

The SOE initiated the Inspirational Educators program in 2019 with an inaugural class of 48 recipients, and will induct 26 recipients into the Inspirational Educators Class of 2020. Please view the full list of names below, and learn more about our outstanding recipients here.

The School of Education is honored to have the opportunity to celebrate the many contributions this group of educators has made through their distinguished service, leadership, and care of others. This is a group who nurtured generations of leaders and innovators, of artists and entrepreneurs. Among them are coaches who inspired their charges both on and off the field, teachers who dedicated their lives to working with underserved communities, and administrators who were passionate about serving as mentors. What they all have in common is that they consistently put the needs of students front and center, and for that they deserve the utmost acclaim.

The SOE had planned to honor its 2020 Inspirational Educators at an induction ceremony last spring, but as UNC Greensboro officials monitored the evolving situation related to COVID-19, the SOE made the decision to postpone the event. In the meantime, the SOE will recognize its 2020 Inspirational Educators on social media and the SOE website, with the intention of celebrating its recipients at an in-person induction ceremony in the Spring of 2022 (date TBD) so that they will receive recognition with the respect and attention they deserve.

“Honoring the extraordinary impact that our 2020 Inspirational Educators have had on education and their community is our top priority — while making sure that we all remain safe and healthy,” says Dr. Randy Penfield, Dean of the UNC Greensboro School of Education. “Rest assured, when we are able to have a proper celebration in person, it will be a fantastic occasion.”

Nominations are secured with a $1,000 gift to the School of Education, which funds Student Excellence Awards for UNC Greensboro School of Education students. When you nominate an Inspirational Educator, your gift not only honors a legacy, but inspires students and helps UNC Greensboro provide them with the best preparation possible.

To learn more about the SOE and Inspirational Educators, follow our Facebook page UNCG SOE Inspirational Educators and visit soe.uncg.edu/giving/inspirational-educators.


Clinton Edward Alexander
Ruth Frank Andreve+
Deborah J. Bartz
Sarah Burke Berenson
Rochelle Brock+
Anessa M. Burgman*
Jim Carmichael
Flo Denny Durway*
Lenwood Earl Edwards, Sr.+
Tricia Booth Fish*
Ye “Jane” He*
Robert Lee Howard, Sr.
Dot Kendall Kearns*
Carl Lashley
Thomas “Gabe” Leonard+
Linda Wilson McDougle*
William Watson Purkey
Leslie Martin Rainey*
Bob Satterfield+ Katherine Davis Smith+
Jennifer Tomon Stephens*
Barbara Reynolds Todd*
Joan Morrison Tolley*
Jackie Bridges Upton*
Carol C. Williams
Kay Plemmons Zimmerman

(UNC Greensboro alumna/us*/Deceased+)

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that there are 27 recipients in the Class of 2020. The number has been corrected to 26.

The UNC Greensboro School of Education is excited to announce that Anita Faulkner, Counseling and Educational Development (CED) alumna, has been appointed as Director of the North Carolina Academy for Stress, Trauma and Resilience (NCA-STAR). NCA-STAR is a CED initiative that aims to provide trauma-informed services and conduct research to promote the health and wellness of K-12 students and educators, campus community members, and local residents.

A 2007 graduate of CED, Ms. Faulkner has spent more than a decade leading a local community mental health counseling agency. She is a licensed clinical mental health counselor supervisor, and has mentored many counselors in their quest for full licensure and professional development.

Throughout her career, Ms. Faulkner has managed site-based mental health consultation in pre-school and elementary school settings in four North Carolina counties. With a clinical focus on young children and families, she has extensive training in evidence-based practices including Incredible Years, Conscious Discipline, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Child-Parent Psychotherapy.

Ms. Faulkner’s years of dedication to training teachers and clinicians in trauma-informed practices will certainly be extended into her leadership of NCA-STAR. The SOE and CED are delighted to have her leadership in this important role!

We would like to thank Mrs. Sarah Cole Jordan ’56 and Mr. Robert B. Jordan IV for their $50,000 gift to the Sarah Cole Jordan Class of 1956 UNCG Teacher Education Fellows Endowment in the School of Education.

The School of Education is honored to receive the continued support of the Jordan family for the UNCG Teacher Education Fellows Program. When the Honorable Robert Jordan III (Bob) passed away in February 2020, his love for this program and Sarah’s education at The Woman’s College was clear in his service and the writings about his life. The Jordan name is synonymous with this incredible experience, dating to the original founding of the statewide NC Teaching Fellows program. Bob and Sarah’s children, Robert, Betsy, and Janie, share their parents’ belief in education, and along with Sarah, endorsed the continued support of this program.

“On behalf of everyone associated with the UNCG Teacher Education Fellows Program, we send our sincerest gratitude,” says Dr. Jennifer Stephens, director of the Fellows program and adjunct assistant professor in the Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC) Department. “We continue to be positively overwhelmed by the Jordan family’s support and their active interest in bettering the lives of our current and future students and the communities in which our Fellows will teach.”

This gift will be added to the existing Jordan endowment. Emphasis will be on expanding the program with the goal of recruiting and retaining excellent teachers in the teacher preparation pipeline and eliminating tuition-related debt for students who want to be teachers. In particular, this gift will provide enrichment and experiential education opportunities for all UNCG Teacher Education Fellows.

Order of the Long Leaf Pine Logo

The Forsyth Tech Board of Trustees recently presented Andrea Drum Kepple with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine – one of the most prestigious awards conferred by the Governor of North Carolina. Kepple is a 1964 alumna of the SOE Teacher Education and Higher Education department.

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is awarded to persons for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty, and who have made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina.

“Although I have only served with Andrea Kepple for two years, I am personally grateful for the privilege of serving this College, our students, and our communities alongside her,” said Janet Spriggs, president of Forsyth Tech. “Mrs. Kepple, on behalf of the staff and faculty of Forsyth Tech, thank you for your service, and thank you for being both sweet and spicy – it makes every interaction and every meeting with you so much fun!”

Kepple was honored in front of the board of trustees, along with her son Nick Kepple, close friends and with a video greeting from her daughter, Dana, son-in-law Paul, and granddaughter Rose Pietromonacom, from Seattle, Wash.

“I’m thrilled with this award, it is truly an honor, said Mrs. Kepple. “You’ve been a wonderful board and I thank you so much. My late husband received two Order of the Long Leaf Pine awards, one from Gov. James Martin and one from Gov. James Holshouser.  Now I will have one to place on the wall beside his.”

A lifelong educator, Kepple spent her 30-year career teaching grade school, middle school, high school and college students. “I’ve always thought of teaching as a higher calling,” she says.

When her husband, stockbroker David Kepple, passed away in 1998, Mrs. Kepple created the C. David Kepple Memorial Faculty Award. The award isn’t designed to pay for the completion of a degree; it’s meant to give faculty the opportunity to expand their horizons. “This award is open to faculty members who wish to enhance their time in the classroom.”

“This is a bittersweet day for all of us who have had the privilege of serving on this board with Andrea,” said Ann Bennett Phillips, board chair. “We are happy to be here to celebrate Andrea, her service to the college, and also to her community, but at the same time, we are sorry that she will no longer be serving as trustee for the college she loves and has supported so faithfully for so long.”

Over the past 20 years, Kepple not only served on the board of trustees, but she also represented the trustees on the Foundation Board of Directors and on the Stokes County Advisory Board from 2008 until 2020.

This story was originally published by The Winston-Salem Chronicle.