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Lake Norman Chamber Recognizes 2023 Educators of the Year

Lake Norman Chamber Recognizes 2023 Educators of the Year

Detailed Accomplishments Regarding each Educator

The Lake Norman Chamber honored three local educators at the 2023 Education PowerLuncheon held at Northstone Country Club in Huntersville, Thursday, February 16, 2023. The event, presented by Atrium Health and sponsored by the Lake Norman Chamber Foundation and Business Today/Cornelius Today, featured Dr. Malcolm B. Butler, PhD | Dean and Professor Affiliate Faculty Member, Department of Africana Studies at UNC Charlotte.

2023 Chamber Board Chair Douglas Marion presented the Educators of the Year to a Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS), Charter School, and Private School teacher. Assisting in the presentations were Huntersville Mayor Melinda Bales and Brandi Jones, co-chair of the Chamber’s Education Collaborative.

The recipients included: Amanda Wheeler, a sixth grade science teacher from Bailey Middle School, Dylan Scaringelli – Band Director for Lake Norman Charter School, and  Rich Landis the Athletic Director, Physical Education and Health Teacher at Grace Covenant Academy. A detailed description of each educator’s accomplishments can be found on the chamber’s website at

Amanda Wheeler - Bailey Middle School

Chad Thomas, Principal of Bailey Middle School states Amanda Wheeler is an amazing teacher and active member of the Lake Norman Community!  When you see her name on a student’s schedule, you know that student is going to have an awesome educational experience.

Mrs. Wheeler consistently makes her science class fun and engaging every single day.  When you walk into her classroom, you will be greeted by one of her students who is designated the special guest teacher for the day. 

Amanda transforms herself into a variety of characters to bring her science lessons to life.  Special Agent Gracie Heart and Tubular Tina are regular visitors to her room.  Mrs. Wheeler’s enthusiasm for her jazzing up the science curriculum is infectious and inescapable.

Students of all ability levels thrive in Mrs. Wheeler science class.  I believe this is because she truly cares about each and every student that enters her classroom.  She takes time to know her students strengths and areas of need. She adjusts instruction to meet students where they are at so they can master the content.

Mrs. Wheeler also takes time to recognize students’ hard work, despite their individual setbacks.  She does this by sending home encouraging notes to students and their families.

Since Mrs. Wheeler joined the staff at Bailey, she has taken on a variety of leadership roles. She leads the 6th grade science PLC in weekly meetings where she shares activities and resources with the team.  Mrs. Wheeler plans all aspects of the annual 6th grade field trip to Camp Thunderbird. 

She arranges the dates with Camp and school administration, she organizes students into groups with chaperones, and collaborates with the camp to determine the activities our students will do while there. Mrs. Wheeler is also a passionate environmentalist and leads the school’s “Waste Warriors Recycling Club” to ensure that trash is appropriate recycled in all of our classrooms each week.

In addition to the remarkable job Mrs. Wheeler does in the classroom, she also does an outstanding job as the girls’ volleyball coach. This year the team earned the honor of being Conference Champions again and did not lose one set of play throughout the entire season.

She leads her team by showing her players respect while pushing them to do their very best on and off the court.  In return, her players and their families adore her and show her the same level of respect.  It’s easy to see why Amanda Wheeler is our CMS Educator of the Year.

Dylan Scaringelli – Band Director for Lake Norman Charter School

Cherié N. Graham, Director of Academics for Lake Norman Charter School writes: "We are nominating Dylan Scaringelli as our Charter School Teacher of the Year. I had the pleasure of serving as Dylan’s principal for five years and have witnessed his teaching prowess. He consistently maintained a commitment to personal and professional growth and has demonstrated the skill set needed to succeed in this profession.

Mr. Scaringelli is a visionary. He came to Lake Norman Charter with a desire to connect with students through music and expand the Band program and has proven successful in reaching those goals. He has found the secret to igniting students’ passion for the Arts. Through extensive knowledge of his content, humor and intentional relationship building, Dylan has nearly doubled his band enrollment.

Under his leadership, both the middle and high school bands have won numerous competitions and received countless accolades for their performances.

Mr. Scaringelli is a team player. He consistently avails himself to his colleagues whenever possible, often covering a class or assisting with non-instructional duties.

He is visible in the community and welcomes the opportunity to showcase his students at various community events. He has a genuine passion for education and diligently works to foster an environment that students want to return to every day.

He is a model educator and has earned the right to be the exemplar for charter school educators."

Rich Landis the Athletic Director, Physical Education and Health Teacher at Grace Covenant Academy.

Christina Deppen, Head of School for Grace Covenant Academy shares: "Rich Landis: Our Athletic Director/PE & Health Teacher is completing his third year at Grace Covenant Academy and has already left a mark on the school. Rich has been in private Christian education for more than 30 years with 20+ years contributing to the LKN community. He has built athletic programs at two local schools, one being the GCA Warrior program.

He has participated in the development of multiple local sports organizations for kids, and his graduates sing his praises. Rich is known around the community for his contributions to a generation, and now instructs and coaches the children of his former students. In addition to athletics, Rich has taught both middle and high school core classes for decades, serving as one of the most flexible instructors at those levels.

Rich has also brought leadership to multiple Christian schools in the state as Dean of Students and Athletic Director, and through his leadership brings a stability to any program he engages. We are a better school because we have Rich Landis as an instructional leader at Grace Covenant Academy."

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