WCS 2014-15 Teachers of the Year announced
by Staff Reports
The 2014-15 Teachers of the Year in the Watauga
County Schools have been chosen and the list of those selected for the honor includes Melissa
Miller of Bethel, Janet Orr of Blowing Rock, Cynthia Townsend of Cove Creek, Kirbi Bell of Green
Valley, Erin Selle of Hardin Park, Lauren Dotson of Mabel, Susan Suddreth of Parkway, Leslie Howser
of Valle Crucis, and Mary Kent Whitaker of Watauga High School.
Teachers of the Year are chosen at each school by
their professional colleagues.
Teachers in all grade levels and subjects are
eligible for the award and the nine Teachers of the Year are selected from a pool of close to 400
teachers in the WCS system.
"Because we have so many excellent
educators in this school system, it is truly an honor to be selected as a Teacher of the Year in
the Watauga County Schools," said Superintendent Dr. David Fonseca.
"I join the Board of Education, our principals, our parents and students, and all of our school personnel in congratulating these nine outstanding professionals on their recognition as our Teachers of the Year for 2014-15," he said.
The exceptional quality
of teachers in the Watauga County Schools is evident in both their credentials and in student
performance on state-required tests.
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 has consistently ranked near the top among
the 115 school districts in North Carolina.
In the results of state-required testing,
students in WCS outperform state averages in all tested areas in elementary and middle school
grades. Students at Watauga High School achieve a graduation rate above the state average and
their SAT scores exceed both the state and national averages.
Fonseca noted that the strong professional
qualifications and student test results for WCS teachers are impressive, but added that their value
is also apparent in less measurable ways.
"Our teachers are remarkable people who demonstrate excellence not just through their credentials and student test results, but by the caring and commitment they bring to their work every day. We are truly grateful for all that they do, and we respect them both for what they achieve and for who they are," he said.
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. Local businesses will also be given an
opportunity to donate gift certificates or other prizes to help recognize Teachers of the Year.
For more information
about making a donation, please contact Human Resources Director Stephen Martin at (828)
The WCS Teacher of the Year for 2014-15
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
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 Gina Holste, a third grade teacher at Valle Crucis. The other Teachers of the Year for 2013-14 include 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, and Klay Anderson of Watauga High School.