Started in January 1992, the Lewis Award is designed to recognize, promote and encourage excellence in teaching in the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Raleigh, according to the Diocese’s website. Troy is the third Gibbons educator to be given the award, considered the highest award given by the Diocese to a Catholic school educator. Rebecca Dason, chair of the Fine Arts Department, received the award in 1996, and science teacher Susan Goethals received it in 2009.Late morning on Friday, March 9, Principal Jason D. Curtis announced to the school community that Troy received the honor. He, along with Assistant Principal of Instruction Nancy Barkan, Troy’s husband, Bob, and a group of students surprised Mrs. Troy with the news during her 5th period math class. Mr. Troy presented his wife with a bouquet of balloons as the students cheered.
“This is the biggest honor anyone can receive,” Troy said, her voice cracking with emotion. “This is my home. This is what I love to do. I am so thankful.”
Principal Curtis described Troy as a truly outstanding educator and blessing to the Gibbons school community. “Joan’s passion for teaching and her creativity in the classroom are evident, even when teaching two such apparently different subjects: math and chorus,” he added. “Part of her success is certainly due to both talent and hard work, but I believe that the magic in her teaching is her remarkable commitment to each individual student.”Her students, including Jerry Zinn ’12, agree. “Mrs. Troy’s enthusiasm for her subjects and her genuine care for us as students creates an environment that is not only great for learning, but also one that fosters great relationships,” said Zinn. “This award shows Mrs. Troy’s ability to teach, but more importantly, it recognizes her outstanding character.”
Troy has been teaching for 26 years, 15 of them at Cardinal Gibbons. In her time at Gibbons, she has, among other things, served as chair of the math department, encouraged students to start a musical theatre club and served as the club moderator, and made a significant impact on the tremendous growth in the school’s spiritual life program.
She earned her B.S. in mathematics from Greensboro College, and a M.Ed. in mathematics from Campbell University. Troy has been recognized as a Distinguished Educator and Mentor by the NCSU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and as a Woodrow Wilson Master Teacher by Princeton University.
“There is no higher compliment to a teacher than to know that her students seek to be educators because of her influence and example,” Curtis noted. “Joan has been that teacher to many students who continue her example in education today.”
Article by Rachelle Garbarine