Teachers of the Week: Ira Varney & Chavon Bryant

EASTERN CAROLINA (WITN) - WITN's News at Sunrise team is excited to recognize two Teachers of the Week for January 10; Congratulations Mr. Ira Varney and Ms. Chavon Bryant!

Ira Varney of South Central High School in Pitt County

Varney is in his 19th year of teaching art in North Carolina. He graduated from ECU in 1999 and earned his Masters in Art Education degree from ECU in 2016. Varney currently teaches Visual Art at South Central High School.

Varney writes that his personal teaching philosophy is "The more you can teach, the more you can reach." He writes, “I am inspired by my students' desire to learn new skills and am constantly looking for new ways to challenge them. In my classroom we have fun taking art seriously.”

The person who nominated Mr. Varney wrote, “Mr.Varney has gone far beyond the scope of ‘teacher’ for my son. He has been a consistent source of happiness, and positivity for my son, during what has been a very difficult 2 years for him. The one constant subject that does seem to bring my son that brief smile, a flicker of happiness, and a willingness to open up about his day is when he talks about what is going on is anything related to Mr. Varney. I see his eyes light up and hear the excitement return in his voice as he talks about his recent projects with Mr. Varney, or his latest ideas that Mr. Varney has helped inspire in him during his Art Class."

“Mr. Varney has shown my son through his projects and artwork, that things may start out plain, or even ugly. But, after work and perseverance something beautiful can be created that may look totally different than what he began with.”

Congratulations Mr. Varney!

Chavon Bryant of Rodgers Elementary School in Martin County
Chavon Bryant teaches second grade at Rodgers Elementary in Martin County. She is in her sixth year of teaching second grade.

Bryant graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelors in Family and Community Services. She started teaching preschool at a daycare. After four years, Bryant went back to school to fulfill her lifelong dream: becoming a teacher. Bryant graduated from ECU with a Bachelors in Education in 2010. She received her Masters of Arts in Education in 2014.

“I am thankful and blessed for all of my mentors and positive motivators who helped me become the teacher I am today,” Bryant writes.

“Teaching is a passion for me. I cherish each day knowing that I have an opportunity to positively affect a child. I believe that every child has the ability to learn and it takes a dedicated teacher to meet their needs. My goal is to make each child feel valued and make sure they know I care and want them to succeed in life. My students are my heart, and I love them like my own. We love to ‘Rock and Learn’!”

Ms. Bryant received multiple nominations for Teacher of the Week. One parent wrote: “Words cannot express how wonderful this woman is and what a blessing she has been to all our children. I know my daughter is a better student and person because of her. She has made a lasting impression on not only my daughter but on me as well.”

Another parent wrote: “Not only do the children love her, but the parent’s love her as well. She spearheaded a campaign to receive public funding to build a much needed AR (accelerated reading) Library for her classroom. Up until that time, the books available to the children were minimal. She has such a wonderful vision and works hard to make those dreams a reality. She is extremely open in her communication and there is not a day that goes by that I have not had some form of contact with her concerning my child’s progress or needs. Having a transparent classroom is priceless to working parents that entrust schools with the welfare of their children.”

Congratulations to Chavon Bryant!

Every week during the school year WITN will recognize a Teacher of the Week on WITN News at Sunrise. The winner receives a plaque and $100 Walmart gift card. To nominate your teacher, email TOTW@witn.com.