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Watch now: Guilford County Schools' teacher of the year 'works tirelessly' for students
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Watch now: Guilford County Schools' teacher of the year 'works tirelessly' for students

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GREENSBORO — Ebonie Jones, an English language arts teacher at Oak Hill Elementary, has a reputation for asking her fourth-grade students just the right questions to help them better understand what they are reading. 

"She breaks it down so it's very comprehensible," said Principal Candice Bailey, who also praised Jones' support of beginning teachers. 

Jones was honored as Teacher of the Year for Guilford County Schools during a socially-distanced ceremony at Western Guilford Middle School on Tuesday night. 

“She works tirelessly to meet the needs of her students, yet she does not see herself as a savior,” said Superintendent Sharon Contreras during the event. 

Jones, an alumni of N.C. A&T and UNCG, said she tries to guide the thinking of her students rather than feeding them her own thoughts.

"I'm interested in what they are thinking and what they are learning," she said. 

Jones had this advice for new teachers: "If it's hard, it's OK. I promise it gets better." 

Jones was awarded $1,500 — $1,000 for her districtwide win and $500 for being the elementary-level teacher of the year. 

Freda Walker, a music teacher at Johnson Street Global Studies, was honored as Middle School Teacher of the Year.

Jonathan Ball, an English teacher at Northern High, was named High School Teacher of the Year.

Now, Jones will compete at the regional level and possibly even the state or national level for Teacher of the Year honors. 

According to a news release, Jones said if selected as the state Teacher of the Year she would use her platform to champion the rights of students with disabilities. 

“For students with disabilities, inclusion is a right," Jones wrote.

Contact Jessie Pounds at 336-373-7002 and follow @JessiePounds on Twitter.​

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