Lease named Franklin’s top teacher

Published 11:23 am Friday, May 18, 2012

Franklin High School Athletic Director Dave Lease, right, was recognized as the district's Teacher of the Year during Thursday's School Board meeting. Pictured with Lease is J.P. King Teacher of the Year Janice Fulghom-Faulk, center and S.P. Morton top teacher Erica Warren. DALE LIESCH/TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—Dave Lease was named Franklin Public Schools Teacher of the Year and Travis Felts knows why.

Lease was an assistant Franklin High School football coach when Felts, now the school’s assistant principal, played for the Broncos from 1987 to 1991.

“Everybody respected him and players were drawn to him,” said Felts, a tight end, wide receiver and defensive back. “He was well respected and he still is.”

The FHS golf coach, assistant football coach, athletic director and building trades teacher, Lease was surprised.

“I think we have some great teachers in this system, many that are deserving of this,” Lease said. “It means a lot coming from your peers.”

S.P. Morton Elementary School music teacher Erica Warren and J.P. King Middle science teacher Janice Fulghom-Faulk were also recognized as Teachers of the Year at their schools during a reception Thursday.

A 1986 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with a degree in technology education, Lease got into teaching to make a difference.

“I just love kids and I hope to make an impact in their lives,” he said.

Lease, 48, and his wife, Pam, are parents to Colby Lou, 11, and Heather, 21.

Teachers from each school voted for a top teacher from each building. The top three were interviewed and judged by a panel that included the teachers of the year from 2011.

Warren, 26, said she was very humbled and flattered.

“I have a strong passion for music and children, so combining the two passions has turned out to be a good career choice,” she said.

A 2008 graduate of James Madison University with a degree in music education, Warren said she loves teaching music because it can transform emotions.

“I love the way it makes you feel and the way it unites people,” Warren said.

The singer and pianist said students’ behavior can change through positive music.

“It unites them through instruments and singing,” Warren said.

Fulghom-Faulk, 33, said being recognized was exciting.

“I was excited that my colleagues thought enough of me to vote for me,” she said. “I don’t work hard for accolades, I do it because that’s what’s in my heart to do.”

A 2000 graduate of Norfolk State University with a degree in chemistry, Folghom-Faulk started teaching as a substitute and was drawn to it full time on the advice of students.

“I learned that I could teach and students could understand me,” she said. “I like the interaction with the kids and being a positive role model.”

Fulghom-Faulk and her husband, Alvin Faulk Jr., are parents to Paris, 3; B.J., 10; Sheya, 12; and Tiyeka, 13.

School Board Chairman Bill Scarboro said it’s important to note the sacrifices that these and other teachers make for the good of Franklin’s students.

“These teachers and all the teachers we have are the greatest people in the world,” he said.