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2020 Beginning Teacher of the Year
2020 Beginning Teacher of the Year
Posted on 09/13/2019
Weaverville Elementary’s Allie Snyder has been named the inaugural BCS Beginning Teacher of the Year! Ms. Snyder was surprised with the news in her school’s cafeteria today. Her fellow teachers, former college classmates, family, and students were proud and excited to be a part of this special surprise. She says she wouldn’t be where she is today without the support and encouragement she’s received over the years.

 “Growing up, I’ve coached kids and I knew I wanted to work with kids- helping them, working with them because they teach you so much as well,” Ms. Syder said. “This interest formed into teaching and ever since then, I’ve loved it!”

Ms. Snyder says she’s appreciated the support from fellow teachers, administrators, family, and friends as she honed her skills as a classroom teacher. She says she’s learned that to be a teacher is to be a part of something bigger than yourself. 

“These kids bring so much to the table; they are a piece of our future and by teaching, you get to be a part of creating the future,” she said. 

The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year process was developed to honor beginning teachers who are the future of education in North Carolina. Ms. Snyder was nominated by her principal and selected as a finalist. In her application, she wrote an essay answering the question, “After successfully completing your first year of teaching, what advice would you give a beginning teacher to help them have a successful first year?”

In part, Ms. Snyder wrote: As I reflect on my first year of teaching, I realized that my perception of teaching has been refined but my mindset has remained - every student and teacher is a unique and whole individual who requires a challenge to see growth. As adults, we grow where we are “watered” and where we are challenged; the same is true of students. I noticed the most success when I made personal connections with each student by getting to know their hobbies and talents.

Ms. Snyder believes that success grows from being valued as an individual and being challenged beyond your comfort zone. She sees her students as whole people and works to make lessons relevant to them.

“Yes, we focus on academics, but our students also love soccer and they love Legos. It’s important to tie their hobbies and interests into teaching,” said Ms. Snyder.

The Beginning Teacher of the Year (BTOY) Program began this year through NCAAT (The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching).  The award program is designed to honor and retain excellent North Carolina teachers and education leaders among the 7,000 beginning teachers recruited annually.

“NCCAT is a long-time supporter of teaching excellence, and a natural expression of that support is to recognize the best of the beginning teachers in our state,” NCCAT Executive Director M. Brock Womble explained.

Ms. Snyder graduated from UNC-Asheville and was hired last year as a third-grade teacher at Weaverville Elementary. Her principal, Ms. Heidi Allison, says she immediately knew that Snyder was a talented educator. 

“Ms. Snyder works diligently to promote trust, build relationships and meet student academic and social needs,” she said. “Each day Ms. Snyder strives to make a difference in the lives of her students. She is also a valued team player on her grade level PLC (Professional Learning Community) team. She frequently seeks out resources for her team and contributes innovative ideas to team meetings.”

Ms. Snyder will go on to represent Buncombe County Schools in the regional competition. The overall award will be presented for the first time in December 2019.

The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year prizes include:- $5,000 cash prize
- Participation in a GoGlobal NC trip to Australia in 2020
- Instructional supply funds for the teacher's school
- $2,000 cash prize to the runner-up
- Travel expenses for regional winners to participate in NCCAT professional development and leadership development

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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