1000 x 90

Watauga County Schools names teachers of the year

Watauga County’s Teachers of the Year are Pam West, Brittany Bolick, Kylie Bolick, Sierra Jackson, Amy Atkins, Amy Thomas, Kari Riddle, Shelby Hatton, Erik Mortensen and Ashely Brown.

BOONE — Watauga County Schools has named its 2023-24 teachers of the year — one from each school in the district. Chosen by their peers, the group was selected from a group of more than 300 teachers district-wide at all grade levels.

This year’s group includes Pam West from Bethel, Brittany Bolick from Blowing Rock, Kylie Bolick from Cove Creek, Sierra Jackson from Green Valley, Amy Atkins from Hardin Park, Amy Thomas from Mabel, Kari Riddle from Parkway, Shelby Hatton from Valle Crucis, Erik Mortensen from Watauga High School and Ashely Brown from the Watauga Virtual Academy.

WCS teachers of the year were awarded by groups of peers, family members and staff who surprised the award winner with the recognition in their classrooms. 

Watauga County Schools Superintendent Scott Elliott offered his congratulations to the newly-named teachers of the year, and thanked them for their dedication to their students.

“To be voted teacher of the year by your colleagues is an enormous honor,” Elliott said. “These teachers have proven themselves to be outstanding leaders in their classrooms and schools. Being chosen for this kind of honor by your peers who understand what it takes to be an exemplary teacher better than anyone else is a wonderful achievement, and I want to thank and congratulate all the Teachers of the Year for their well-deserved 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.

Businesses or individuals interested in making a donation this year are encouraged to contact Human Resources Director 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 and a review of a written statement of teaching philosophy prepared by each candidate.