Veteran Sherwood Githens Middle School science teacher Caroline Brickhouse—a mentor and relationship builder, is the 2021-22 Teacher of the Year for Durham Public Schools.
“By every standard, Caroline is an outstanding teacher and has a great rapport with her teammates, staff, and building administration,” said Dr. Sheldon Lanier, principal of Githens. “Caroline is a role model for all of her students and impresses me with a love for lifelong learning.”
Brickhouse earned her Master of Education in K-8 Science Education from UNC-Chapel Hill. She began her teaching career at Githens in 2006, returning to the school in 2018 after a stint as a science curriculum specialist. She is a member of the National Science Teachers Association and a Biogen Scholar.
“There are numerous hardworking and amazing teachers at Githens,” writes eighth-grade Githens student Simone Anderson. “I don’t know how you guys choose just one teacher for Teacher of the Year, yet at the same time, I understand because some teachers go above and beyond for their students and deserve some recognition. Mrs. Brickhouse isn’t only a great teacher but a great person. She tried her best to understand how we see the world and adjust her class so that we succeed.”
Brickhouse will go on to represent DPS in the Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year program.
“Trust can make or break any relationship, and this is especially true with middle school students,” wrote Brickhouse in her portfolio. “I strongly believe that building trust with my students begins with honesty and mutual respect. We do not have a long list of rules in my class, simply the expectation that we will show respect for one another through listening and telling each other the truth in a way that is meant to help and not harm.”