Audrey Jones, Patty Buckner, Scott Elliott

Audrey Jones accepts her award from Superintendent Scott Elliott and Parkway Principal Patty Buckner.

BOONE — Audrey Jones, a seventh grade science and social studies teacher at Parkway School, has been named Watauga County Schools Rookie Teacher of the Year.

The newest addition to WCS’ yearly teacher recognitions, Rookie Teacher of the Year is awarded to a teacher in his or her first year teaching full time. Candidates are nominated by principals, assistant principals, central office directors and first year teacher mentors for their outstanding work ethic, dedication and skill.

Jones graduated from Appalachian State University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in middle grades education. Before beginning her teaching career, Jones worked at App State on a project to develop sustainability curriculum for middle grades students and as a tutor at a local church.

Parkway Principal Patty Buckner said Jones is a skilled and talented teacher who has already made an impact at her school.

“Ms. Jones serves her students and community members like a veteran teacher,” Buckner said. “Her lessons are creative and rigorous, and students are fully engaged while they are in her class. She designs instruction based on students' needs and interests, and she is an extremely reflective educator who consistently seeks opportunities to strengthen her skill set. We are Parkway Proud of her and so thankful she is part of our school family.”

WCS Superintendent Scott Elliott said teachers like Jones are a credit to the quality of Watauga County Schools as a whole.

“We are so proud of Ms. Jones for her recognition as our Rookie Teacher of the Year,” Elliott said. “Watauga County Schools works hard to recruit the best and the brightest new teachers each year, and incredible educators like Audrey Jones are no exception. We are proud of all our very talented beginning teachers and grateful for the work of the mentors and staff that support them as they begin their journey in education.”

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