BOONE — Hardin Park second grade teacher Misty Hyler was named Watauga County Schools district-wide Teacher of the Year May 7 during a surprise visit to her classroom from her family, peers and Watauga County Schools staff.

Hyler was presented the award by Superintendent Scott Elliott, who was joined by several members of the Watauga County Schools central office staff and outgoing WCS Teacher of the Year and Northwest North Carolina Teacher of the Year Erin Ellington.

Each year, Watauga County Schools celebrates its Teacher of the Year winner with a surprise ceremony. WCS Staff works to coordinate visits from family and friends to surprise the winning teacher in their classroom.

Elliott thanked Hyler for her hard work and what she means to the school district.

“Mrs. Hyler is a consummate professional who sets an example that reminds all of us to keep our students and their needs at the very center of what we do in schools,” Elliott said.

During the surprise announcement, Elliott mentioned a quote that Ms. Hyler recently shared with her colleagues.

“She said she believes there is no such thing as other people’s children, and it is evident in the way she loves and supports each of her students that she believes this with all her heart,” Elliott said.

Watauga County Schools Teachers of the Year are selected by their peers at each school. The Watauga County Schools District-wide Teacher of the Year is chosen through a process that includes interviews, unannounced teacher observations in classrooms and a review of a written statement of teaching philosophy prepared by each candidate.

This year’s selection committee included Board of Education Member Jay Fewick, 2019-20 Rookie Teacher of the Year Ben Brown, 2020-21 Teacher of the Year Erin Ellington, Bethel School Principal Brian Bettis and WCS Technology Director Alison Schleede.

Gifts and recognitions for Watauga County Schools teachers of the year are made possible by support from Appalachian State University, The Blowing Rock, Mellow Mushroom, Publix, Hardees’ of Boone/The Hastings Company, Comeback Shack, Grandfather Mountain, Dan’l Boone Inn, Espresso News, Hatchett Coffee, South’s Specialty Clothiers, Boone Drug, Skyline Skybest Communications, Ross Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Mast General Store.

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