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SBMS AIG Specialist Receives Award

Phyllis Venters poses with Michael Elder after receiving her award
Phyllis Venters poses with Michael Elder after receiving her award.

Phyllis Venters Recognized by NCAGT

Late last week, a long-time Onslow County educator was honored for the work she does with students every day. 

On March 8, Phyllis Venters, an AIG specialist at Swansboro Middle School, was named the 2019 NC Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted by the North Carolina Association for the Gifted & Talented. The NCAGT Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted Award is presented annually to a North Carolina teacher of gifted children who exhibits a strong commitment to gifted education through professional experience, professional organizations, and/or services in the area of education for the gifted. 

The honor, presented to Mrs. Venters at the 44th Annual NCAGT Conference in Winston-Salem, comes after a long career of working with the students in Onslow County as an AIG specialist, reading tutor and teacher.  

Mrs. Venters began her teaching career in Department of Defense schools in 1972 and found her way to Onslow County Schools about a decade later. Since then, she has served as an AIG specialist and tutor at Hunters Creek Elementary, Dixon Elementary, Parkwood Elementary, Northwoods Elementary, Jacksonville Commons Elementary and Swansboro Middle School.  

In the nomination he submitted for Mrs. Venters, Michael Elder, OCS director of college and career readiness, said she “is the kind of educator that I wish I could share with every child and teacher. She has the perfect blend of Socrates, Clara Barton and Ms. Frizzle that every one of us needs to experience at one point or another. Phyllis has spent her career making others feel valued, important, and as if they are her best friend.” 

He also went on to say that Mrs. Venters “has been a champion for finding innovative and creative ways to meet the needs of gifted learners even when there were not enough hours in the day or adults in the building to serve the kids.” 

Fellow AIG Specialist Lisa Mixon said, “Phyllis is considered the guiding beacon of the AIG department in OCS. Is became abundantly clear early on that Phyllis has a deep passion for teaching and inspiring coworkers and, most importantly, her students!” 

Mrs. Venters said she was "so surprised, humbled and honored to be recognized with such an incredible honor."

"People often think that everything is easy and predictable for bright students," she said, "but sometimes they need assistance... In the past, gifted students have thought smart is quick and easy. My job is to get them to dare mighty things and go from their comfort zones to where the magic happens."

Congratulations on this great accomplishment, Mrs. Venters!