Stokes County Schools announced Ms. Abigail Westmoreland, third grade teacher at Poplar Springs Elementary, as the next district Teacher of the Year. Superintendent Rice made the surprise announcement in Ms. Westmoreland’s classroom in front of her students, family and several administrators. Westmoreland began her teaching career in 2018 after graduating from East Carolina University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Westmoreland said she knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher. Not just a teacher, but a Stokes County Schools Teacher. Westmoreland said she had a front seat to a woman who poured her heart and soul into her job as a teacher in the county, her mom, Michelle Westmoreland who has taught for 29 years at Mount Olive Elementary. Westmoreland often has future teachers from area colleges coming to observe in her classroom. She instills in her students the importance of community and service. For example when TV personality Chad Tucker’s daughter, Roe Roe was diagnosed with cancer, Westmoreland’s class stepped up sending a gift basket, a tie blanket and homemade cards. The entire school wore orange t-shirts to bring awareness for Roe Roe’s type of cancer. Students in Westmoreland’s class collected the most cans for Feed Stokes this year.
Westmoreland hopes to attend as many graduations as possible because each child that has gone through my door has a piece of my whole heart. Westmoreland says she never regrets taking the time to go deeper with students and families to show that she cares more about them than just their academic success.
Rice stated that it is especially fulfilling to see a product of Stokes County Schools be recognized for this honor. I am very proud of Ms. Westmoreland and her passion for educating students. She is a talented educator who will represent our academic community well. Our schools are fortunate to have such capable educators helping students reach their potential every day.
The Teacher of the Year Program shines a light on excellence in the classroom, celebrates outstanding leadership, and models best practices for the teaching profession. Westmoreland will go on to compete at the regional level in the fall.
She is the daughter of Brad and Michelle Westmoreland of King.
Stokes County Runner-Up in the competition is Mrs. Christine Bell, Art teacher, King Elementary. Others who chose to compete at the district level were: Mara Joyce, London Elementary, Paul Curtis, III, North Stokes High, Meredith Booe, South Stokes High, Anna Ronacher, Southeastern Middle. School-level winners who chose not to compete at the district level: Karin Joyce, Chestnut Grove, Ann Weeks, Germanton Elementary, Wyshona Lawson, Lawsonville Elementary, Tiffany Gunter, Meadowbrook Academy, Lea Ann Goodson, Mount Olive Elementary, Jennifer Christy, Nancy Reynolds Elementary, Sarah Selby, Pine Hall Elementary, Mark Gammons, Piney Grove Middle, Shannon Whitt, Pinnacle Elementary, Kasey Livengood, Sandy Ridge Elementary, Steven Lewis, Stokes Early College High, Robin Wilson, Walnut Cove Elementary and Christine Long, West Stokes High