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Meet the OCS Teacher of the Year finalists, Laura Isenhour and Andromeda Crowell

Last week, we revealed our 2024-25 Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Teresa Rogers-Thorpe, one of three Orange County Schools Teacher of the Year finalists. Today, we want to shine a spotlight on our other two district finalists, Laura Isenhour and Andromeda Crowell!

Laura Isenhour

Laura Isenhour, Cedar Ridge High School 2023-24 Teacher of the Year, has been described by a colleague as what an educator should look like for her students and peers alike, serving as a role model for both. 

Isenhour began teaching English in Orange County Schools in 2015, teaching a variety of courses including Creative Writing, Mythology, English I, II and III as well as IB English Language and Literature HL. 

Just two years earlier, Isenhour graduated from Appalachian State University where she double majored, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Bachelor of Science in English Secondary Education. 

Isenhour’s philosophy of teaching focuses on helping students develop skills necessary for their future as she believes education should nurture empathy, creativity, critical thinking and helping students prepare for life’s challenges. 

“I’ve learned my own lessons about humanity through teaching, and I’ve learned to work on my

own capacity for understanding and empathy,” she wrote. 

Outside of the classroom, Isenhour also runs the Cedar Ridge Poetry Club which has produced two youth poets laureate, Guadalupe Lunas Rojas and Autumn Maivia. 

Congratulations to Ms. Laura Isenhour for being named a Teacher of the Year Finalist! Your dedication and impact to your students and Cedar Ridge Community are certainly appreciated. Go Red Wolves!


Andromeda Crowell

Our third finalist, Andromeda Crowell, is Orange High School 2024-25 Teacher of the Year. Crowell has been with Orange County Schools for 11 years, making her impact as the Science Department Chair and as a National Board Certified Teacher. 

Crowell graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill from the UNC Baccalaureate Education in Science and Teaching (BEST) Program, designed to help undergraduate students majoring in science or math become licensed teachers in North Carolina in just four years. 

During her time with the BEST program, Crowell minored in Chemistry. Later, in 2017, she earned her Masters of Science in Biology from Clemson University. 

Crowell comes highly recommended by her peers and Orange High School Principal Jason Johnson, who all praise her for her deep commitment to educational excellence.

In her own teaching, Crowell emphasizes the importance of learning from failure as it gives students the opportunity to “reflect on and revise their understanding,” she wrote. 

Andromeda, we appreciate your unwavering support for your students and your dedication to learning and growth for yourself, your students and the Orange High School community! 

Again, congratulations to all our finalists and to Mrs. Teresa Rogers-Thorpe, our district’s 2024-2025 Teacher of the Year! These three women, along with 10 other Teacher of the Year nominees, will work as a teacher leadership cohort alongside Superintendent Dr. Danielle Jones and other district leaders for the upcoming school year. 

We look forward to their contribution at the district level, and as they bring initiatives back to their schools during the 2024-25 school year.