BOONE — Watauga County Schools named its 2020-21 Teachers of the Year from each of its nine schools.
Chosen by their peers, the group was selected from more than 300 teachers district-wide at all grade levels. This year’s group includes Chelsie Eldreth from Bethel, Angela Watson from Blowing Rock, Leslie Hall from Cove Creek, Tara Watson from Green Valley, Elizabeth Hutelmyer from Hardin Park, Erin Ellington from Mabel, Sydney Sieviec from Parkway, Leslie Howser from Valle Crucis and Hunter Lloyd from Watauga High School.
Each of the teacher of the year winners were awarded by groups of peers, family members and staff who surprised the award winner with the recognition in their classrooms in the days preceding the statewide stay home order that closed schools.
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.
“It is a high honor to be recognized by your peers as a teacher of the year,” Elliott said. “All nine of these outstanding teachers are highly respected leaders in their schools and within our school system. Watauga County Schools is fortunate to have so many skilled, professional and highly effective educators leading and teaching our children. Especially in this unprecedented year, I remain grateful for all the many ways our teachers contribute to the success of our students and the quality of our community.”
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 are able to donate gift certificates or other prizes to help recognize teachers of the year.
The businesses that supported Teachers of the Year with donations in the past include Chetola Resort, Chick-fil-A, Stick Boy Bread Company, Panera Bread, AFLAC, Bandana’s Bar-B-Q and Grill, Dos Amigos, Friendship Honda of Boone, Hardee’s, Makoto’s, Subway, Cornerstone Bookstore, BeanStalk Community Theatre, Haircut 101, Michael’s, Omega Tees and Screen Printing, Precision Printing, Hibbett Sports, SageSport, Blue Ridge Vision, Tanger Outlets and Walgreens.
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.