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Haywood County teacher named NCCAT 2024 Empower North Carolina Beginning Teacher of the Year

Abigail Bentley,

Abigail Bentley, a teacher at Pisgah High School at Haywood County Schools, was named the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) 2024 Empower NC Beginning Teacher of the Year in a special ceremony at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center on the campus of Western Carolina University Thursday February 15th. She teachers who teaches biology and earth sciences. 

The following comments were made before the announcement -

The NCCAT 2024 Empower NC Beginning Teacher of the Year believes all students are inherently curious about the natural world around them. This teacher aims to facilitate the advancement of student skills to create confident learners who are capable of answering future questions. 

This teacher believes when students see and feel a teacher’s investment in their academic or personal growth, it can stimulate a powerful intrinsic motivation within them. This teacher also believes developing relationships with students takes patience, empathy, and forgiveness, noting “reflect before you respond, care for them, laugh with them, and help guide them through mistakes. “

This teacher is described as an effective communicator who stands out for their commitment to covering standards, increasing student achievement, and creating productive learning environments. Their dedication to aligning teaching with high academic standards has significantly contributed to our students’ growth and success,” shared a colleague. 

A colleague describes this teacher as one who follows the standards and who incorporates student interaction and collaboration on a daily basis, who helps students make connections to previous learning and life experience. 

An administrator noted that this teacher had some of the top scores in the region, builds meaningful connections with students, and creates a supportive and inclusive atmosphere where students feel valued, respected, and inspired.

This teacher is dedicated, works extremely hard to plan meaningful lessons that capture students’ attention. 

This teacher’s mentor describes her use of kinesthetic motions to help students retain learning. She notes that this teacher also uses her experiences to engage her kids with real life comparisons. 

An administrator shared, “her professional teaching efforts have made a huge impact on our school.”

Her mentor’s first response to the principal after her interview? “Can we keep her?”

It is my pleasure to recognize, from Pisgah High School in Haywood County Schools, Abigail Bentley as the NCCAT 2024 Empower NC Beginning Teacher of the Year.