John Neathery

The NC Community College System (NCCCS) has given John Neathery, Alamance Community College instructor, its highest award as the top community college instructor in North Carolina.

This is the first time that an instructor from Alamance Community College has been honored with the North Carolina Excellence in Teaching Award. North Carolina has 58 community colleges and each nominates an instructor for consideration. ACC has had a few instructors in the past who reached the regional level of competition.

Neathery earned the state’s top honor following an interview process at the regional and later state level. Neathery will receive a cash award from the NCCCS and additional state recognition.

Neathery has taught at ACC since 2003. An instructor since 1997, he graduated with honors from Appalachian State University (ASU) where he earned both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in sociology. He also earned an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) post-graduate degree in Higher Education Teaching, with a concentration in Criminal Justice.

“For me, there is nothing more professionally rewarding and gratifying than helping my students achieve their goals--whatever their academic, career, and life goals may be,” says Neathery, who uses a variety of activities to stimulate the learning environment that may include donning an Ironman mask to illustrate social deviance, or analyzing musical lyrics to introduce concepts such as crime, poverty, and family.

Cathy Johnson, Vice President of Instruction, said, “John has always been innovative in his approach to his sociology classes. He finds creative ways to incorporate methods of teaching that will capture students’ attention and keep them engaged in the material he is presenting.”

“Mr. Neathery always keeps class interesting by bringing in humor, he uses props that make us think outside the box, and he challenges us to examine our social world,” says student Amelia Jones, who nominated Neathery initially at the local level.

“We are extremely proud of John’s accomplishments,” said Dr. Algie Gatewood, Alamance Community College President. “He is an outstanding faculty member who goes out of his way to ensure the success of students. John's classroom leadership is indicative of the high quality of faculty and staff we have here at ACC. And this is of utmost importance as the College positions itself as a leader in preparing students for four-year college transfer and 21st century jobs.”

Established in 1985 by the State Board with financial support from R.J. Reynolds, the Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes full-time teachers who exemplify the highest standards of instruction and professionalism in the classroom and who consistently demonstrate excellence in service to their colleges and communities.