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Bladen County Schools’ teacher, Lara Johnson, among 27 finalists for NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year Award

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Twenty-seven teachers from across North Carolina have been selected as finalists for the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) Inaugural Beginning Teacher of the Year Award for their dedication, innovation and ability to inspire students to achieve.

Lara Johnson, a Health Science teacher at East Bladen High school in Elizabethtown, NC has been selected as a finalist for the award.

Ms. Johnson, a former Nurse is among the 27 talented educators being recognized for their dedication, innovation, and ability to inspire students to achieve. She believes that building relationships is the foundation for facilitating learning for all students

Her principal Dr. Jason Wray states, “She clearly articulates an innovative thought process that has given her students a purpose and feeling of belonging.” Her passion for teaching is contagious and her peers have expressed support for this fabulous endeavor.

A fellow teacher Ms. Beard states, “Students look to her as a mentor and a person they can trust. She brings a multitude of resources to others in the district.”

Ms. Johnson’s students have called her “extremely devoted, motivated, involved, and encouraging.” She is known to push all of her students to their full potential both academically and personally. This is a well-deserved recognition.

The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year, who will be recognized in a ceremony on December 5, 2019, at the NCCAT Cullowhee Campus, wins a $5,000 cash prize;
participation in a GoGlobal NC trip to Australia in 2020 and instructional supply funds for the teacher’s school. The runner-up receives a $2,000 cash prize.

The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year process was developed to honor beginning teachers who are the future of education in North Carolina. Information about the program is online at

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