ASC Announces Cato Excellence in Teaching Award Winners

Categories: News & Media
Six teachers receive $1,500 and original artwork

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 5, 2017)Six teachers have been named winners of the Arts & Science Council’s (ASC) Cato Excellence in Teaching Awards. The annual awards recognize teachers who have distinguished themselves in teaching art, science or history, or who have demonstrated creative infusion of arts, science or history into the core academic curriculum. Through the support of The Cato Corporation, the annual awards recognize six winners – two each in the categories of art, science and history.

The 2017 winners are:


  • Debbie Faulkner, Larne Elementary School, York County
    A former dance instructor turned elementary school teacher. It was through her passion for the arts that led her to an arts integration specialist role, forever impacting her approach in the classroom. Now a second grade teacher, Faulkner believes that through the arts her students have the opportunity to learn joyfully. She finds innovative ways to infuse the curriculum with engaging activities that focus on creativity, and her students appreciate her artistic approach
  • Eboné Lockett, Cato Middle College High School, Mecklenburg County
    A high school English teacher for over 14 years, Lockett has a passion for taking her students outside the walls of the classroom and providing real world experiences to enhance learning. Throughout her career in CMS, Lockett as served in several leadership roles, such as the district coordinator for National Poetry Out Loud, Drama Guild advisor, a member of UNC Charlotte’s Teachers Institute and more.


  • Luke Abercrombie, Marvin Ridge High School, Union County
    Abercrombie has developed a gamification method to teach high school Earth and Environmental Science. His students are empowered to engage in content delivery and assignments that best suit their individual learning styles.
  • Ted Miracle, Endhaven Elementary School, Mecklenburg County
    Formerly an assistant principal, Miracle left administration to pursue his passion as a science educator. He has incorporated STEM into the fabric of Endhaven with initiatives such as STEM Nights, Science Olympiad, Robotics, Saturday STEM Family Field Trips, Engineering Is Elementary, Science Lab, Science Alliances and more.


  • Sarah Wheeler, Randolph Middle School, Mecklenburg County
    Wheeler has served students in many roles throughout her 28 year career, including dance specialist, third grade teacher, talented and gifted specialist, and for the past 16 years as the middle grades social studies Horizons specialist for gifted students at Randolph Middle School. Wheeler urges her students to think beyond their schools, families and circle of friends by taking them outside of their comfort zones to learn about Civil Rights on a tour of monuments throughout Georgia and Alabama.
  • Stacy Pruitt, Lincolnton Middle School, Lincoln County
    A reading and social studies teacher for nearly 10 years, Pruitt incorporates literacy and civic responsibility into each lesson through monthly reading goal celebrations, book talks, reading based projects and letter writing.

“These teachers are committed to the infusion of and exposure to the arts, sciences and history in the core academic curriculum in order to increase student achievement and produce students who are creative thinkers for the 21st century,” said ASC President Robert Bush. “ASC is proud to join with The Cato Corporation in recognizing the lasting impact they have in the lives of their students.”

Each recipient received $1,500 and a sculpture by local artist Greg Scott. The award is made possible through an endowment gift made to ASC from The Cato Corporation.

To be considered eligible for the annual award, individuals had to be a Pre-K through 12th grade teacher working for a public or independent school in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln or Union counties in N.C., or Lancaster or York counties in S.C.

About ASC

ASC is the chief advocate, resource hub and steward for the Charlotte- Mecklenburg region’s cultural community. Its core functions include advocacy, cultural education programs, cultural planning, fundraising, grant making, public art and workshops and trainings for the cultural community. ASC works to ensure Culture For All by combining resources from local and state government with those of the private sector to maximize community impact throughout the cultural sector.

ASC’s mission is to ensure access to an excellent, relevant, and sustainable cultural community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

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Contact Information

Amy Mitchell