ACC Announces 2021 Excellence in Teaching Recipients

(March 16, 2021) – Alamance Community College has announced the recipients of its 2021 Excellence in Teaching Awards.

Donna Pruitt

DONNA PRUITT, Dental Assisting Instructor

2021 Ronald L. McCarter Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient

Donna Pruitt has been an instructor in Dental Assisting for 25 years, first as an adjunct and since 2004 as a full-time instructor. A 1991 graduate of ACC’s Dental Assisting program, she worked as a dental assistant in two Burlington practices before returning to ACC to teach. Pruitt believes in crossover teaching by taking the students out of the classroom clinic: traveling to dental offices for training in new hands-on technology; and visiting dental labs to better understand processes. A strong believer in classroom collaboration, she says group projects and exercises build leaders which is fundamental in a dental office. Her students also participate in community dental health initiatives. Said Pruitt: “Training, educating, and instructing students to become great employees for our community has always been the driving force behind what I do.”

Valerie Whitley


2021 Adjunct Instructor of the Year Recipient

Valerie Whitley, an ACC graduate, has taught Computer Information Technology (CIT) as an adjunct instructor since 2012. A graduate of UNC-Greensboro, she has also tutored and served as office manager in ACC’s Academic Skills Lab for 15 years. Whitley has an M.Ed. in Educational Technology and used her expertise to create student-centric master Moodle templates, still used in all basic Computer Information Technology classes at ACC. Despite working a full-time first-shift job, Whitley is committed to her students’ learning and needs. “Everything I do for ACC is because I love what I do,” she said.