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Brickman named BCPS EC Teacher of Excellence for 2017-18

posted Sep 25, 2017, 12:32 PM by Cheryl Shuffler

            WA Young Elementary School Exceptional Children (EC) teacher Brian Brickman has been named Burke County’s EC Teacher of Excellence for 2017- 18. Brickman has been an EC teacher for 13.5 years and is passionate about his students. He currently serves as an inclusion and resource teacher serving 19 students. Over the years, Brickman’s passion for his students is witnessed in how he supports them academically, behaviorally, socially and with second language acquisition. He extends lessons to focus on vocabulary, which not only supports his students with Autism or those with other language deficits, but also those learning English as well.

Brickman works with students who struggle behaviorally and socially, and through it all, this veteran EC teacher maintains a mild, soft disposition that allows the student to not feel threatened or intimidated, ultimately leading to more powerful conversations and teachable moments. Brickman uses moments of frustration to explain not only new concepts, but new emotions associated with learning new things.

When it comes to communicating with parents and preparing and conducting IEP meetings, Brickman takes a very proactive approach in updating parents on their child’s progress. He meets Burke County Public Schools’ districtwide expectations of sending out drafts in advance and meeting well before the deadlines. At WA Young, Brickman is a leader among his peers. He is a team player and repeatedly goes above and beyond to help new and veteran EC and regular ed teachers. He is open to teachers coming into his classroom for observations so that he can model effective strategies. Brickman also is a well-rounded, highly qualified teacher. His students’ scores in Language!, a research-based reading program, are among of the highest in the district despite the fact that he works with the district’s most diverse population. In 2016-17, Brickman became a math data collector for NCSIP and attended data team meetings and advisory board meetings. His fidelity observation scores have been above expectations.

Brickman is married to Becky Brickman, and they have two children. He is a leader in his church as well, where he teaches Sunday school and is a Children's Church Leader at Morganton First Church of God. He is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but was raised in Caldwell County from fourth grade up through graduation from West Caldwell High School. While in college at NC State University, he worked a couple of summers at Lutheridge Summer Camp in Arden. There he had the privilege of working with campers with disabilities and, therefore, discovered his calling in special education. Brickman earned a bachelor’s in science degree in Business from NC State University and a master’s degree in special education from Western Carolina University.

BCPS Exceptional Children Director Debbie Jennings said, “Brian is an exemplary teacher. He has a passion for children regardless of their capabilities or behavior. He is a leader within our district and sets the bar high for himself and his students.”