Mr. Boyd for President


Photo provided by Stephanie Walters.

Boyd smiles with his Teacher of the Year award.

Mercer Blanco, Op/Ed Editor

    This January, Phillip Boyd was named RJ Reynolds High School’s Teacher of the Year. He is a Family and Consumer Science (FACS) teacher in Reynolds’s Career and Technical Education department. In addition, Boyd teaches Food and Nutrition I and II. He pursued a career in education by obtaining a Family and Consumer Science degree at North Carolina Central University. He then got his Master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. He has been teaching at Reynolds for five years and has enjoyed his transition to teaching at the high school level. Boyd is even a product of Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools. He started at Easton Elementary, went to middle school at Southeast, and finished at East Forsyth High School in 2012.  

     “I started off in higher ed,” Boyd said. “I noticed that secondary education was void of male teachers. There’s really not a lot of male teachers in secondary education, so I felt like it was a good fit for me.” 

    Boyd has enjoyed being able to help his students at the high school level prepare for the next phase of their lives. 

    “I know that high school allows me to impact young minds,” Boyd said. “That’s when I needed help and guidance; I don’t think you all get enough in high school.” 

    Boyd also agrees that his perspective from higher education has helped him transition successfully to the high school level. 

     “So me coming in fresh off of the policies I knew in higher education, I’m better able to equip students that come through my class or come to my student groups with more knowledge and more information going on after high school, whether it’s college or the job force or military . . . wherever they want,” Boyd said.

    Boyd feels excellent about being named teacher of the year at RJ Reynolds High School. 

    “It’s a huge accomplishment for me,” Boyd said. “I’ve always tried to be a team player and have a strong work ethic. I push my students and try to balance the level of rigor in the classroom.”

    Boyd acknowledged many great things about being a teacher, as well as some downsides.    

    “I get to meet new students every year and help them to aspire to further their education,” Boyd said. “But you are noticed everywhere: the mall, shopping centers, everyone knows who you are. It’s hard to sometimes go somewhere and not be recognized or talk to a current or former student. But that’s okay too.”

    His teaching peers nominated Boyd; a final vote was taken in December. Boyd will now go on to compete at the district level. In celebration of his achievement, Principal Calvin Freeman surprised Boyd with a small celebration in his room, and his department threw him a surprise party.      

    Teacher of the year at RJR is not the only award that Boyd has recently won. In October of 2022, Boyd was named one of 10 educators in the state as the recipient of the “Out of This World Educator” award by Project Launch. It is given by First Bank and awarded to educators committed to innovative teaching strategies and, most importantly, who want better for their students. Boyd submitted a proposal to Project Launch to help the many students and families at RJR, a Title I school, with food insecurity. His idea was to rework food distribution so that those in need might receive an extra 40% of the food. 

    An exciting benefit to being named Teacher of the Year is that Boyd will be asked to speak at this year’s Spring Graduation for the Class of 2023. 

    “I haven’t written my speech yet, but I have an idea of what I want to say,” Boyd said. “Stay tuned.”