Return to Headlines

Kelli Madkins named ACS 2025 Teacher of the Year!

“I am all in for my students, their families, our school, our community, and education as a whole. I am the teacher I am today because of the teachers of yesterday and the teachers of tomorrow.” - Kelli Madkins

Asheville City Schools would like to extend a huge congratulations to our 2025 District Teacher of the Year, Ms. Kelli Madkins! Yesterday afternoon, the Asheville Middle School 8th grade class, school and district leadership, and community partners surprised Ms. Madkins with the award in the school gymnasium. Ms. Madkins teaches 8th grade English Language Arts at Asheville Middle School where she has been an educator since August 2022. Prior to joining Asheville Middle, Ms. Madkins was a classroom teacher at Ira B. Jones Elementary School from 2017 to 2021, where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2020.  

Ms. Madkins is a third generation educator who has always believed in the power of community involvement and its potential to change the world. She has served her community, city, state, and country through her work in her neighborhood, Asheville City Schools, and through a 23 year career in the United States Air Force. In the classroom, Ms. Madkins incorporates engaging texts to enhance literacy skills and foster a safe and engaging learning environment. The walls of her classroom are decorated with images of authors and inspirational figures within whom every student can see themselves reflected. She skillfully implements numerous instructional strategies in order to meet the varied learning styles of her students. Ms. Madkins describes the compassion she has with her students as a reflection of the love and care she was shown by educators in her youth. 

“I’ve had the opportunity to be in Ms. Madkins’ classroom, and I’ve seen how she challenges her students, holds them to high expectations, and expects nothing but the best. To see her work that magic in the classroom is like an artist painting a beautiful portrait.” - Superintendent Dr. Maggie Fehrman.

“This award means a lot to me. I really try to give my best. My students push me to rise to the challenge and I do the same. To be honored in this capacity is just fantastic.” - Kelli Madkins

When you see Ms. Madkins in the hallways of Asheville Middle School, you see an educator who truly makes students feel seen and loved. Her ability to establish trust and cultivate relationships with students, families, colleagues, administrators, and community is truly exceptional. There is no accolade high enough to fully recognize the impact that Kelli Madkins has on our education community. She inspires the best from students and colleagues alike and we are deeply grateful for the person she is and for all that she does.