Reported by: Margo Gray Education can be a challenging career field, but there comes a time when a teacher's time and efforts in the classroom are recognized by others from the outside. Christy Stanley teaches a small group of kids, but her work as a high school English teacher has not gone unnoticed. Stanley is Pender County's 2008-2009 Teacher of the Year. "To be nominated by your peers is a humbling experience, and then maybe being able to go on and represent the entire county, and perhaps go on to represent regional or state Teacher of the Year is an exciting opportunity," Stanley said. Stanley has spent a decade in the classroom, though her teaching career actually began much earlier. "As a child I use to line up my stuffed animals and teach them and I don't remember a time I did not want to be a teacher. My 10th year has flown by and I've done some pretty dynamic things in my 10 years of teaching. I'm quite proud of being an educator." She has good reason to be proud. She is a board certified teacher who is working toward her Doctorate in Education. She said she was most proud of the decision she made to move from a traditional high school to Pender County’s Success Academy, an alternative school. "I think that Pender Success Academy is Pender County's best kept secret, and we are just trying to get the word out. We have some amazing students here with great skills and abilities. It's just sometimes they need a smaller setting in order to bring out those skills and abilities." Kim Hinson is the principal at Pender Success Academy. She said, "It's not enough to teach our kids, we have to reach them. Ms. Stanley brings a lot of positive energy, doesn't take no for an answer, she really puts her heart into what is obvious everyday." She plans on being there for her for many more years to come. Stanley will go on to represent her county in the regional competition, and perhaps even go on to become North Carolina's Teacher of the Year. Also representing their counties will be Michelle Bennett from Shallotte Middle, Hoggard High School's John Rinka, Bladen County's Sarah Bosak-Straw, and Carol Blake from Chadbourn Middle School.
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