YADKINVILLE — This year’s Yadkin County Schools end-of-year celebration at the WinMock at Kinderton was nothing less than stellar. Among the honorees was District Teacher of the Year Yancy Moose Burklow.
Burklow is a home-grown product of the Yadkin County Schools system, having attended West Yadkin School, and then later, Starmount High School. While a student there, she had an opportunity to participate in an internship in a special education, self-contained classroom.
Already interested in this field because of having a special needs nephew who, in her words, “truly showed me that disability is only a word, and that word doesn’t describe all of his wonderful abilities,” Burklow jumped at the chance to complete an internship there with Kathy Smythers (now her mentor at Boonville Elementary).
Earning a softball scholarship to Appalachian State University, Burklow went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in special education adaptive curriculum.
On a personal note, Burklow is married to her husband Ben and lives in Hamptonville. Outside of education, her interests include sports, the church children’s ministry, and spending time with her nieces and nephews.
Finishing up her fifth year in education, this teacher views her students as family. Kristi Gaddis, director of Student Support Services, said, “This dedicated professional treats her students as if they are her own children. She is accepted and loved by not only the students, but by their families. She is the absolute ideal Exceptional Children’s teacher.”
Gaddis went further to explain that Burklow goes above and beyond for her children. She creates and presents a digital yearbook every single year. She celebrates with the students and their family members by hosting an end-of-year party complete with refreshments and cake. She presents DVDs — one for each student — showcasing the many and varied accomplishments of the students throughout that school year. It’s proven to be a highlight for the families as well as the students, and a cherished keepsake that she presents to them after the event.
For her part, Burklow said, “I cannot begin to tell everyone how truly blessed from God I am to be working with the population I work with. Every day is a gift we celebrate, and to see them grow and work hard is why I keep coming back… I pray each and every day that I can teach them to the best of my ability, but I know I will never be able to teach them what they have truly taught me.”
She additionally credits her assistants Bill Drumright, Kelly Brown, Kristen Wagoner, her “amazing” mentor Kathy Smythers, and the “wonderful school where every child is accepted for their abilities, in such a wonderful county where I have the opportunity to do what I love on a daily basis.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Todd Martin said, “Ms. Burklow is more than a teacher to her students and their parents. Her care and compassion set her apart. She loves her students and it just shows through in everything she does. Her students love her in return. For her students, Ms. Burklow is more than the teacher of the year. She is a teacher they will remember for a lifetime.”