April 2, 2012. The 2012-13 Teachers of the Year for the nine schools in the Watauga County Schools system were chosen during March and the select group includes Cindy Darcy, teacher of exceptional children at Watauga High School; Laurie Gill, Title I reading teacher at Green Valley; Burl Greene, physical education teacher at Bethel; Kim McAulay, teacher of academically and intellectually gifted (AIG) students at Cove Creek; Kathryn Matthews, first grade teacher at Valle Crucis; Cogie Reed, middle school teacher at Parkway; Laura Seagle, kindergarten teacher at Blowing Rock; Stacey Smith, kindergarten teacher at Mabel; and Anna Welsh, kindergarten teacher at Hardin Park.
Superintendent Dr. Richard Jones said that selecting Teachers of the Year in the Watauga County Schools “is always a great reminder of how blessed we are with exceptional teachers in this school system. Anyone who cares about children and public education will feel their spirits lifted and their hearts inspired when they see the quality of the people in our classrooms and the great work they do with our students. They are creative, caring, and capable professionals and we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.”
The exceptional quality of teachers in the Watauga County Schools (WCS) is apparent in their credentials as well as in the classroom. 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 is in the top five among the 115 school districts in North Carolina. In the classroom, students in WCS consistently outperform the majority of students statewide in all tested areas in elementary and middle school grades, and on end-of-course tests and SAT scores at the high school level.
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 2012-13 will be announced in late 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. The committee that makes the selection includes teachers, school administrators, and a representative of the Watauga Board of Education.
The current WCS Teacher of the Year is Darcy Grimes, a third grade teacher at Bethel. She is also Northwest (NC) Region Teacher of the Year and is one of only nine remaining candidates – out of about 97,000 teachers in the state – for NC Teacher of the Year.