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Lilley named top teacher

By Staff
P.S. Jones Middle School educator will be seeking state award
By PETER WILLIAMS
Editor
Andrea Lilley knew she wanted to teach, but she didn’t start out as a teacher.
Yet, the computer-science teacher at P.S. Jones Middle School received the local Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year award Tuesday.
Lilley, a native of Plymouth, is in her fifth year at the middle school. Before she began teaching, she spent seven years in the business world.
Once she graduated from ECU, Lilley worked for companies in Kinston and Washington for seven years.
Although she didn’t have teaching credentials, she landed a job through a lateral entry program and earned her teaching credentials as she taught.
The Wal-Mart award comes with a $100 check for Lilley personally and a $1,000 check for Lilley to use to buy things for her classroom. The local honor makes her eligible for the North Carolina Teacher of the Year competition, which carries a $10,000 award. The national Teacher of the Year can earn $25,000 for his or her school.
The Washington Wal-Mart received over 100 nominations from schools throughout Beaufort County, said Georgia Torres, a Wal-Mart coordinator who presented the award Tuesday.
In addition to teaching computer skills, Lilley is the adviser to the school’s yearbook staff. She also is the coordinator of the Future Business Leaders of America club. She belonged to the FBLA club at Plymouth High School. In addition, Lilley is a department head at her school.