2019 Teacher of the Year:

Freebird McKinney

Walter M. Williams High School
Subject Area
Social Studies/History
Grade Level
9, 10, 11, 12
More about Freebird McKinney

First of all, in getting to know, Freebird McKinney, you need to know that he is fulfilling his ENTELECHY, on a daily basis. He was literally and figuratively, BORN TO BE A TEACHER!  Learning and teaching are defining aspects in his life as he strives to be recognized a "Village Teacher", someone recognized for their service to the community. As the current North Carolina State Teacher of the Year, he has had the blessing and honor of educating and inspiring countless young men and women inside and outside of the classroom.

As a citizen of “The Shire”, or a community,  McKinney is a life-long learner and educator both in public high schools (for 14 years), currently teaches Social Studies at Walter M. Williams High School in Burlington, North Carolina and at Elon University as a School of Education adjunct professor. As a graduate of the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and University of North Carolina-Greensboro with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction- Social Studies, History and Philosophy have become his conduits for facilitating students on the path of self-actualization and self-realization.

Global Education and Service Learning are also great passions of his and as a “Village Teacher", he attempts to engage his students on the “Hero’s Journey", as they strive to understand their purpose and its meaning. In leading students to uncover their own individual story, he urges them to connect this self-understanding to the story of “What Does It Mean to Be Human” and “the Human Story”. He strives to “Think Globally and Teach Locally”. He looks forward to learning about YOUR STORY and becoming characters in the great united story of Humanity!

National Teacher of the Year Sponsors

A special thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors who help make the NTOY program possible. If you are interested in supporting the program, click here to learn more.

Program Partners