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Hyde County Schools announces 2020-21 Beginning Teacher of the Year

Katie O’Neal, exceptional children’s teacher at Ocracoke School, has been selected as Hyde County’s Beginning Teacher of the Year 2020-21.

The Beginning Teacher of the Year Award is an initiative sponsored by the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching. The award program is designed to honor and retain excellent North Carolina teachers and education leaders among the 7,000 beginning teachers recruited annually. “NCCAT has been a long-time supporter of teaching excellence and a natural expression of that support is to recognize the best of the beginning teachers in our state,” stated a press release from Hyde County Schools.

O’Neal, who is also an Ocracoke School alumni, became a member of Ocracoke School’s staff right after graduating from North Carolina State University. She was hired to be the exceptional children’s teacher at the start of the 2019-20 school year.

She only enjoyed a few days into her first teaching position before Hurricane Dorian hit and drastically changed life on Ocracoke Island. O’Neal “endured a challenging school year then and an even more unusual school year now in the midst of the pandemic, but she has done it with poise and grace,” stated the announcement. “Hyde County Schools could not be more honored to have her as part of our school family!

“Congratulations are in order, and we cannot wait to see her additional contributions to our school community!”

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