Odell teacher gets’s Hometown Hero award

Charles G. Monnett III & Associates launched a new teacher recognition program in August called Hometown Hero.

The program is spread throughout six counties in the Charlotte area (Cabarrus, Catawba, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Union counties). Every month a teacher from each county is honored.

Charles Monnett’s wife, Deborah, knows firsthand the enormous amount of time and effort teachers put into the classroom because she was an educator her entire career.

The first teacher to be surprised with this award for Cabarrus County was Marla Guerity, a second grade teacher at W.R. Odell Elementary School.

“We try to ambush each recipient with a surprise visit,” said Bob Dill, marketing director for Charles Monnett & Associates.

“To recognize the commitment our teachers make to their students, we award one deserving teacher in each county in our area a $250 Visa gift card for classroom supplies,” Dill said. Plus the entire class is awarded a pizza party courtesy of Domino’s.

Being new to Odell Elementary, Guerity was taken off guard by the award and had no idea what was happening.

“I was very shocked and pretty sure that they had the wrong room, since I had only been there a few days,” she said. “The kids were so excited, especially because they get a free pizza party.”

Originally from Ohio, Guerity had planned to become an occupational therapist and attended Cleveland University. But after working as a Title 1 tutor, she realized she loved teaching children more.

“I loved working with the kids. It was such a great accomplishment to help them in areas where they were struggling, especially when they were able to meet their goals and succeed,” she said.

She loved it so much she changed her major to education and transferred to Youngstown State University.

“It is so humbling and special to receive this award. As a teacher, I’m not in it for recognition or awards. I come to work every day hoping to make a difference,” Guerity said.

“I was a product of public schools. And now as an employee of public schools, I am proud to say that I have never worked with a teacher who didn’t put all of their time and effort into making sure every one of their students succeeds,” she said. “We make sure that every child that comes to us receives a high-quality education.”

Dill said, “The Hometown Hero Teacher Appreciation Award will continue to showcase one outstanding teacher each month from each of the six counties.”

Nominations are open and will continue throughout the school year. To nominate a deserving teacher, visit and select the Vote button.