Edgecombe honors top teacher

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Edgecombe County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Valerie Bridges, left, presents the Teacher of the Year Award to Rita Batts, center, as school board Chairwoman Evelyn Wilson looks on.


Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

An Exceptional Children’s teacher at Tarboro High School has been named Edgecombe County Public School’s 2017-18 Teacher of the Year.

The announcement came at Edgecombe County Public Schools recent convocation event. Rita Batts was chosen for the honor out of a pool of 14 teachers who were nominated for the award.

Batts has been a teacher with Edgecombe County Public Schools for 27 years, serving as an Exceptional Children’s teacher at Phillips Middle School, North Edgecombe High School and Tarboro High School.

Batts told the Telegram she feels truly honored to be recognized for such a distinguished award.

“Being chosen as Edgecombe County Public Schools Teacher of the Year made me feel appreciated for the hard work and dedication to my students over the last 27 years. I am excited to be recognized by my colleagues, especially when there are so many deserving teachers in our district,” Batts said.

Teachers are recommended for the Teacher of the Year honor by their colleagues and each school chooses one teacher to represent the school at the district level. Teachers selected submit portfolios, which are evaluated by a panel of community members and educators, based a scoring rubric. The top six candidates participated in an interview process and those interviews also were evaluated. Batts earned the highest score for Edgecombe County Public Schools and was selected as Teacher of the Year.

“I thank God for allowing me to serve as an ambassador of the teaching profession and all Edgecombe County Public Schools personnel who have shared their knowledge and expertise with me along the way as I have grown into the teacher I am today. I feel very fortunate that my fellow co-workers at Tarboro High School felt I was worthy to represent them at the school level,” Batts said.

Batts said she is proud and thankful to serve as an Exceptional Children’s teacher, educating students at varying levels with unique abilities.

“My favorite part of teaching is the ‘aha’” moments, Batts said. “I love the trust and magic I feel when my students believe in themselves and accomplish a goal. I get to see the smile of success for students that often experience many failures. In the words of Rita Pierson, ‘Every child deserves a champion — an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.’”

Robert Batts, director of secondary education for Edgecombe County Public Schools, praised Batts for her efforts.

“Ms. Batts is a true ambassador of the teaching profession. She is committed to excellence and will go beyond the call of duty to create an engaging, personalized, and hands-on atmosphere of learning for her students,” Batts said in a press release. “She is a true servant leader who strives to instill in her students the power to believe in themselves and in their abilities.”

Batts now will compete in the regional process against teachers in surrounding counties who are also in the North Central Region. The regionally-selected candidate will compete in the state process for the honor of being chosen as the North Carolina Teacher of the Year.


2) What is your favorite part of teaching? My favorite part of teaching is the “aha” moments. I love the trust and magic I feel when my students believe in themselves and accomplish a goal. I get to see the smile of success for students that often experience many failures.