In September, Ms. Kennedy Dockery was named Mount Airy City Schools (MACS) Beginning Teacher of the Year (BTOY) through the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT). In mid-November she learned that she was one of three BTOY finalists representing the Piedmont Triad Region which includes 16 counties: Alamance, Asheboro, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Elkin, Forsyth, Guilford, Lexington, Mount Airy, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Thomasville, Surry, Yadkin.
NCCAT created the BTOY process to honor and retain teachers who are beginning their educational career. The goal is to highlight public school and public charter school teachers who show promise as teachers and leaders across the state, according to the NCCAT website.
Dockery has been invited to attend NCCAT’s Inaugural Beginning Teacher of the Year Program scheduled for December 2-6, 2019. This first-ever BTOY professional development opportunity will allow her to engage with beginning teachers across the state to study and discuss leadership principles, personal leadership traits, teacher leadership in school, group dynamics, along with other components of effective leadership. The group will be led by previous NC Teachers of the Year, Darcy Grimes and Cindi Rigsbee, as well as other administrators in education. Attendees will grow through experiential learning as they build professional competence and confidence that will not only grow student achievement but reinforce their commitment to this critically important profession.
Dockery stated, “I am honored to serve as one of three representatives for the Piedmont Triad Region at NCCAT’s Inaugural Beginning Teacher of the Year Program. This prestigious honor will grant me access to professional development in which I will interact with beginning teachers across the state. I am thankful for Jones Intermediate School, Mount Airy City Schools, NCCAT, my community, my family, and most importantly my incredible students - without their respect, trust, and support I would not be in this position.”
Dockery along with the other 26 finalists will also go through lightning round interviews during the program which will aid the committee as they decide who will be named NCCAT BTOY for North Carolina. Prior to attending and interviewing for the second time, teachers have submitted portfolios, resumes, and recommendation letters to the committee for review.
The winner will be announced on December 5, 2019. The NCCAT BTOY will receive a $5,000 cash prize, participation in a GoGlobal NC trip to Australia in 2020, and instructional supply funds for their school.
Director of Innovative Programming Penny Willard, who also serves beginning teachers in their first years, noted, “Mount Airy City Schools is grateful that beginning teachers are being celebrated from the state level. As our profession is experiencing a decline in young adults showing interest in the education field or leaving before year five, it is more important now than ever to recognize the potential they bring with them and encourage them to continue growing and fine tuning their craft. As a district, we wrap our beginning teachers with multiple supports and this additional recognition is a valuable addition to our work.”