MONROE – Union County Public Schools surprised Jared Gatewood on Oct. 31 with news that he won the district’s 2022-23 Assistant Principal of the Year award.

A Forest Hills High School staffer called Gatewood to the cafeteria only for him to be met by Principal Kevin Plue, students and staff at the doorway. Gatewood was shocked to see so many people and was all smiles when Superintendent Andrew Houlihan announced he was the Assistant Principal of the Year. 

"I saw a few of my students and figured they were in line to get food,” Gatewood said. “I turned the corner and saw a line of people on both sides screaming my name and saying congratulations. I was wondering what was going on.”

The Union County Education Foundation awarded him $500 for the school and $500 for personal use. 

"I'll never forget this experience,” Gatewood said. “The students are the reason I come to school. I do what I do for them. I see a lot of myself in them. If I can make a difference in one student's life, it'll make what I do worth it." 

Other finalists were as follows: 

• Jamee Giers - Walter Bickett Elementary

• Keitha Rodden - Rock Rest Elementary

• Mari McTamney - Antioch Elementary

• Shane Ferron - Cuthbertson Middle

• Terri Adams - Parkwood High

 

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