Watauga educator named NC Teacher of the Year

Posted May 3, 2012 4:21 p.m. EDT
Updated May 3, 2012 4:28 p.m. EDT

— A Watauga County elementary school teacher was named North Carolina's 2012-13 teacher of the year Thursday at a luncheon in Cary.

Darcy Grimes, a third-grade teacher at Bethel Elementary School in Sugar Grove, was one of nine educators in the running for the prestigious award.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said Grimes is a wonderful example of the amazing teachers leading public school classrooms across the state.

"Darcy's love and excitement for teaching are evident in the variety of ways she teaches her students," Atkinson said at the luncheon. "She realizes that instructional opportunities are not always found in the classroom and that by working with students through community activities, such as a running club, she can teach them important life lessons in other ways."

A graduate of Appalachian State University, Grimes has taught for five years and has been the recipient of several awards.

She said Thursday that she not only wants her students to achieve to their potential, but also to be life-long learners and global citizens who can compete in a technological society.

"My students have many opportunities to work in collaborative groups on project-based assignments. They also use Web 2.0 tools to work collaboratively with students in classrooms in five states and abroad in four countries," she said. "What better way is there to teach students to be global life-long learners?"

As North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Grimes received a $7,500 cash reward and will spend the next school year traveling the state as an ambassador for the teaching profession.

Among other benefits of the honor, she also will serve as an advisor to the State Board of Education for two years and as a board member for the North Carolina Public School Forum for one year.

Grimes succeeds Tyronna Hooker, an exceptional children’s teacher at Graham Middle School in Alamance County.