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Thiele earns top honors

JACKSON — Elizabeth Thiele has been selected as Northampton County Schools’ Teacher of the Year.

On Tuesday, Thiele, runner-up Jessica Matte and other Teacher of the Year candidates were honored at the Northampton County Board of Education meeting. Each received a trophy, flowers and goodie bag.

Thiele is a fourth grade teacher at Squire Elementary School. She has a degree from the University of Maryland and has been teaching for 22 years. She is a trained Mentor.

The veteran educator, who mentored Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy when he was a teacher, got emotional after she was presented a trophy for her victory.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she said. “It’s emotional.”

Thiele received a $500 check from the Northampton County Education Foundation as well as funding to attend a national conference of her choice.

Matte is a Spanish teacher from Northampton County High School-East. She has a master’s degree from North Carolina State University and an undergraduate degree from the Universidad de Tarapac Arcia in Chile. She has been teaching for 14 years, 10 of those in the United States.

Matte said she was having a wonderful experience at NCHS-East and really felt like an ambassador for Northampton County Schools.

She received a check for $300 from the Northampton County Education Foundation.

Other Teacher of Year candidates included:

Polly Morton-Drake is a third grade teacher at Willis Hare Elementary School. She is a graduate of Chowan University and has been teaching for four years.

Rhonda Holmes is a visual art teacher at Conway Middle School. She is a graduate of Elizabeth City State University and completed course work abroad. Holmes has been teaching for five years.

Demetra Lassiter is a fifth grade teacher at Central Elementary School. She is a graduate of Elizabeth City State University and has taught classes for Roanoke Chowan Community College. Lassiter has been teaching for nine years.

Terry Morton is a Pre-K teacher at Garysburg Elementary School. She has a masters degree from Old Dominion University and an undergraduate degree from Saint Paul’s College. Morton has been teaching for 10 years.

The Teacher of the Year is chosen after a three to four month process. Teachers are nominated from each school by their co-workers and then they are asked to submit a portfolio to the Teacher of the Year committee comprised of educators and individuals from the community.

Interviews with each candidate by the committee are held within the month before the decision. The committee then selects an individual.