Katy Chadwick, right, pictured with two of her pupils. Contributed photo
Katy Chadwick, teacher at James W. Smith Elementary School, has been selected as the 2018-19 Teacher Ambassador for Craven County Schools. In this role, she will serve as the local adviser to the Board of Education and will represent Craven County Schools in various community and civic events.
Chadwick now moves on to compete against other local award recipients for the Southeast regional Teacher of the Year title. Chadwick was chosen following an application and interview process with the local selection committee, comprising of the current Teacher Ambassador, the current Principal of the Year, a Board of Education member, central office staff and business/community/faith partners.
In her application package, Chadwick shared her passion for teaching by stating, “Teaching has been a life-long dream of mine.”
She described how blessed she was to have amazing educators when she attended Brinson Memorial Elementary School as a child and that she vividly remembers specific moments with each of her teachers.
“While each educator was different in their daily routines and methods, they shared one commonality: a love for teaching.” Chadwick further wrote, “Because of their devotion for teaching and willingness to invest in me, I felt at peace and fulfilled at school. I was eight years old when I decided that if I became an elementary teacher, I could always feel as peaceful, fulfilled and joyful as I did at school.” As a high school student, she worked with struggling second grade readers for several months and was able to witness their growth, which made her even more determined to pursue a career in education. Due to her personal commitment and academic success, Chadwick was awarded the North Carolina Teaching Fellow Scholarship in 2007.
When asked what she considered to be her greatest contribution and accomplishment in education Chadwick stated, “I relentlessly encourage students to see their value and potential. My classroom environment provides opportunities for students to recognize their worth. Many students in my classroom come from homes with limited resources and I refuse to accept that cyclical poverty will ultimately determine the outcomes of my future first-generation college students.” Chadwick further stated, “There is something so empowering in knowing that I was destined for teaching. I am proud of my profession and I dedicate myself fully to my students. In an evolving and uncertain profession overcome with obstacles, I would choose to be a teacher over and over again because every child deserves a loving teacher who emphatically believes that they are capable of achieving the impossible, no matter how high the odds are stacked against them. I am, and will always be, that teacher.”
For more than 50 years our nation has honored teachers with the National Teacher of the Year Program. In 2014, the NC Department of Public Instruction announced their partnership with Burroughs Wellcome Fund as the new major sponsor of the North Carolina Teacher of the Year Program. Since 1970, North Carolina has participated in this program recognizing outstanding teachers.