Congratulations to our 2020 Class of Inspirational Educators!

Posted on January 11, 2021

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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


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.