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SOUTHERN PINES, N.C., Oct. 11, 2022 -- First Bank is pleased to announce the winners of the "Out of This World Educator Awards." On the evening of October 6, 2022 honorees, their guests, First Bank team members and community members came together to celebrate and honor select educators that go above and beyond to stimulate, drive, and inspire student success in the Carolinas.

Top Row (L-R): Phillip Boyd, Quarry Williams, Curtis Doe, Charles Autrey Bottom Row (L-R): Candace Grimsley, Michelle Le, Tisha Carnes, Ashley Williams, Darnell Murillo. Not pictured, Dylan Sims

First Bank received over 400 nominations throughout North and South Carolina, all moving stories of local educators, at many difference levels of education and from traditional or nontraditional learning environments. From the 400+ nominations the voting panel, comprised of Project Launch Grant winners, select First Bank team members and several valued stakeholders, had the arduous task of selecting 10 winners. The educators selected were given $5,000 in recognition of all their efforts.

Top Row (L-R): Phillip Boyd, Quarry Williams, Curtis Doe, Charles Autrey Bottom Row (L-R): Candace Grimsley, Michelle Le, Tisha Carnes, Ashley Williams, Darnell Murillo. Not pictured, Dylan Sims

Out of this World Educator Award Winners

  • Charles Autrey – Chief, Firefighter Training, McDowell High School Emergency Services Academy, Marion, NC

  • Phillip Boyd – Food Sciences teacher, R.J. Reynolds High School, Winston-Salem, NC

  • Latisha Carnes – Individuals and Societies 8th grade teacher/Social Studies Department Chair/Team Lead, East Garner Magnet Middle School

  • Curtis Doe – Tutor, Road Map to Success, Winston-Salem, NC

  • Candace Grimsley – CTE Agriculture Teacher, Lumberton Senior High School, Lumberton, NC

  • Michelle Le – Teacher, Panther Creek High School, Cary, NC

  • Darnell Murillo – Teacher, Smithfield Elementary School, Charlotte, NC

  • Dylan Sims – Director of Bands, York Middle School, Assistant Director of Bands, York Comprehensive High School, York, SC

  • Ashley Williams – Curriculum Coach, Jacksonville Commons Middle School, Jacksonville, NC

  • Quarry Williams – HOPE Alternative Learning Program Coordinator, Edgecombe County Public Schools, Tarboro, NC

To learn more about each of these incredible educators and watch the full ceremony from October 6, 2022:

The Out of This World Educator Awards are presented in conjunction with First Bank's Project Launch initiative, a year-long program that focuses on improving and driving education in the Carolinas. There are several facets to Project Launch, including direct donations to education-based organizations, monthly grant winners, the First Bank Book Club, and the "Out of this World Educator" awards. Through August 2022, a total of $415,369 of the committed $500,000 funds has been given away to various education initiatives under the Project Launch umbrella.

Please visit to learn more about all of the initiatives above.

About us:

First Bank is the banking subsidiary of First Bancorp and is headquartered in Southern Pines, North Carolina, with total assets of approximately $10.6 billion. As a state-chartered community bank, First Bank operates 110 bank branches in North Carolina and South Carolina. Since 1935, First Bank has taken a tailored approach to banking, combining best-in-class financial solutions, helpful local expertise, and technology to manage a home or business. First Bancorp's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "FBNC." Visit our website at Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.

SOURCE First Bank

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