The 2013-14 Teachers of the Year in the Watauga County Schools have been chosen and the new list of honorees includes Lindsey Wilson of Bethel, Susan Trew of Blowing Rock, Tiffany Reece of Cove Creek, Donna Greene of Green Valley, Jenny McCourry of Hardin Park, Meghan Mixon of Mabel, Jamie Dale of Parkway, Gina Holste of Valle Crucis, and Klay Anderson of Watauga High School.
Superintendent Dr. David Kafitz praised the new Teachers of the Years along with their colleagues in WCS, saying that “all of the Teachers of the Year in the Watauga County Schools are truly exceptional because they are selected from such an outstanding team of educators in our schools. They are the kind of teachers that help make our students successful and they are the kind of people that make us proud to be part of this school system. Their recognition is richly deserved.”
The exceptional quality of teachers in the Watauga County Schools (WCS) is apparent in both their credentials and in school testing results. A significantly higher proportion of WCS teachers have graduate degrees than teachers across the state and the proportion of WCS teachers who have achieved National Board Certification ranks second out of the 115 school districts in North Carolina. In the results of state-required testing, students in WCS outperform the majority of students statewide in all tested areas in elementary and middle school grades. Students at Watauga High School achieve a higher graduation rate and higher proficiency on most end-of-course tests than their peers across the state and their SAT scores exceed both the state and national averages.
Teachers of the Year are chosen at each school by their professional colleagues. There are no limits by subject area or grade level and the nine Teachers of the Year are selected from a pool of more than 400 teachers in the WCS system.
Each school’s Teacher of the Year will receive an award of $350 from the school system and is automatically a candidate for Watauga County Schools Teacher of the Year. The person chosen as the WCS Teacher of the Year will receive an additional $350 from the school system.
The WCS Teacher of the Year for 2013-14 will be announced in late April after a selection process that includes interviews, unannounced teacher observations in classrooms, and a review of a written statement of teaching philosophy prepared by each candidate. The committee making the selection includes teachers, school administrators, and Watauga Board of Education member Barbara Kinsey.
The current WCS Teacher of the Year is Katie Matthews, a first grade teacher at Valle Crucis. Last year’s WCS Teacher of the Year, Darcy Grimes of Bethel, is the current NC Teacher of the Year.