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PEGGY R. HENRY-WATKINS

Peggy Henry-WatkinsPeggy R. Henry-Watkins, MS, BS, was inspired early on to a career in education due to having family members who were accomplished educators and scientists. Further encouraged by a number of great teachers and professors, she earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Bennett College in 1968. She began her career as a biology teacher at Western High School in North Carolina that same year, also serving as the teacher adviser for Future Teachers of America from 1968 to 1970. In 1970, Ms. Henry-Watkins joined Sedgefield Middle School as a teacher and chair of the science department, roles she held until 1989.

During this time, Ms. Henry-Watkins sought to further her own education and obtained a Master of Science in biology from North Carolina A&T State University in 1972. She also did work with the National Science Foundation in 1979, when she developed a hands-on, self-paced audio tutorial and lab-oriented project for their exceptional children science education program. In 1982, she was active with both Discovery Place and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, serving as a science teacher for the Staff Development Center’s time release program and as a contributing writer for science manuals, curriculum, and lab activities.

With decades of experience in science education and administration to her credit, Ms. Henry-Watkins brought her expertise to Providence High School, where she excelled as a biology teacher and the chair of the science department from 1989 until her retirement in 2007 and spent time on the scholarship committee. This period also saw her working as a textbook reviewer for Glencoe Macmillan/McGraw Hill in 1993 and for AMSCO in 2006, as well as a contributing writer for the Modern Red SchoolHouse project with the Hudson Institute in Indianapolis. Ms. Henry-Watkins continued to learn throughout her career, achieving certification in mentoring by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and in gifted and talented programs by the University of Virginia in 2004.

Remaining active in retirement, Ms. Henry-Watkins continues to hold membership in the North Carolina Academically Gifted Teacher Association, the North Carolina Association of Educators and the National Alumnae Association of Bennett College, of which she is a lifetime member. Listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers for 2006-2007, she has received numerous recognitions for her accomplishments through the years. Ms. Henry-Watkins was a two-time recipient of the Certificate of Service Award by the Charlotte Area Chamber of Commerce in 1980 and 1996 and also received the Tandy Technology Outstanding Teacher Award for 1991-1992 and a certificate of appreciation for outstanding contributions to the community from the city of Charlotte in 1990.

Honored for her excellence throughout the 1980s, Ms. Henry-Watkins was named the North Carolina Academically Gifted Teacher of the Year in 1989, a North Carolina Outstanding Math and Science Teacher in 1983, and a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Teacher of the Year in 1980. She considers these accolades to be among the highlights of her career. In 1986, she received both the North Carolina Outstanding Science Teacher Certificate of Merit Award and the North Carolina Textbook Commission Certificate of Service Award, having earlier been awarded the Discovery Place and Science Museums of Charlotte Appreciation Award and the Girl Scouts Appreciation Award in 1981.

Ms. Henry-Watkins attributes much of her success to her parents, who ensured she had everything she needed for school and supported her at every opportunity. Overall, she feels that parents often don’t understand how important it is to be apparent in their displays of love and support for their children. She has done her utmost to pass on the support she received to her daughter, Toni Henry Turner, as well as to her nieces, granddaughters, and great-grandchildren. As she looks toward the future, Ms. Henry-Watkins’ current goals are to help and support her granddaughters as they work on their graduate degrees and to spend time with her great-grandchildren, teaching them about their family history and genealogy.

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