Watauga County Schools has named its latest group of teachers of the year — one from each school in the district. Chosen by their peers, the nine newly awarded educators were selected from a group of more than 300 teachers district-wide at all grade levels.
This year’s group includes Erin Scott from Bethel, Eve Parson from Blowing Rock, Stephanie Kostis from Cove Creek, Melissa Miller from Green Valley, Barbara Myers from Hardin Park, Allison Hodge from Mabel, Robin Smith from Parkway, Debbie Glover from Valle Crucis and Derrick Jones from Watauga High School.
The teachers were honored last week by a delegation of their peers, family members and staff who gather in procession at each school’s central office to surprise the award winner mid-class.
Watauga County Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott said that all the work of WCS was centered around exceptional teachers like those honored by the awards.
“Everything we do in our school system starts and ends with exceptional teachers, and we are fortunate to have no shortage of them,” Superintendent Scott Elliott said. “I’d like to offer my congratulations and express my appreciation to all of our Teacher of the Year winners. Their commitment to our students and their leadership among their peers is why they are so deserving of this recognition.”
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 WCS Teacher of the Year will receive an additional $350 from the school system. Local businesses will also be given an opportunity to donate gift certificates or other prizes to help recognize teachers of the year.
The businesses that supported Teachers of the Year with donations in the past include Chetola Resort, Chick-fil-A, Stick Boy Bread Company, Panera Bread, AFLAC, Bandana’s Bar-B-Q and Grill, Dos Amigos, Friendship Honda of Boone, Hardee’s, Makoto’s, Subway, Cornerstone Bookstore, BeanStalk Community Theatre, Haircut 101, Michael’s, Omega Tees and Screen Printing, Precision Printing, Hibbett Sports, SageSport, Blue Ridge Vision, Tanger Outlets, and Walgreens.
Businesses or individuals interested in making a donation this year are encouraged to contact Human Resources Director Dr. Stephen Martin or Public Information Director Garrett Price at (828) 264-7190.
The WCS district-wide Teacher of the Year will be announced in May 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.