SALISBURY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – There are variables we can’t control in life.

“You’ll solve the equation for x,” Felecia Young told students at Knox Middle School.

Sometimes x represents the setbacks that serve as motivation. As a math teacher, Young gives students confidence.

“Okay, you got this!” she said, teaching young people to multiply, divide, and conquer. “There you go, good job!”

“Because I love my kids. I want to be able to be that teacher that you look up to,” said Young, who was recently named the Knox Middle School Teacher of the Year. “And I want them to understand that math is difficult, but they can still do it.”

She’ll do whatever it takes to connect on various platforms, including TikTok.

“We did a couple of dancing TikToks,” said seventh grader Kristina Parker.


They helped me out so much. It’s because of students like them that makes me come each day! #theunicorneducator #mystudentsrock

♬ original sound – maree

The TikTok app has become controversial because of data concerns, so Young says she’ll gladly use other social media avenues if necessary.

“If you can’t get through this education process without a good laugh, then you’re going to be stressed out,” Young said.

Her methods lead to results and respect on the local, State, and national levels. Curriculum Associates named her one of this year’s Extraordinary Educators. 

Her positive classroom culture and innovation led to national honor.

“And I just wanted to give students an opportunity to learn math in a fun way,” Young told Queen City News.

In 2021, Governor Roy Cooper recognized her in his State of the State address.

“I’ve seen your TikTok videos; you’ve even got me interested in math again!” he said in a video spotlighting Young.

“Let’s go, Governor Cooper, let’s go!” she replied.

All the recognition is remarkable, considering.

“I was a horrible math student,” she confessed. “In seventh grade, I actually failed seventh-grade math. So, math was very difficult for me.”

Young would have some choice words if she could go back in time to speak to herself as a middle schooler during that low point.

“I would say, ‘Felecia, you can do it. This moment in time is not the end; it’s not going to dictate your next,” Young said. “I need you to push through because you’re going to be a vessel for some other student.”

Now, she’s a beacon for students like Parker.

“At one point, I was like struggling with math and school at some points,” Parker said. “And she boosts up my confidence and pulls me aside when I need help.”

As she helps them solve for x, Young is the X-factor all young people need. Students are still recovering from the impact of COVID on their education, so the value of teachers like her has never been greater.

“She’s the best teacher I ever had,” Parker concludes.