Carteret Schools Beginning Teacher Award-web
Pictured from the left: Croatan High School Principal Kay Zimarino, Jarrett Bay Boatworks Vice President of Administration and Development Ed Stack, Beginning Teacher of the Year Kelly Huffman and Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson.

Katherine “Kelly” Huffman named 2020-2021 Carteret County Public School System Beginning Teacher of the Year

Ms. Huffman is an agriculture education teacher at Croatan High School and serves as a co-advisor for the school’s FFA Chapter. Ms. Huffman also received a check from Jarrett Bay Boatworks Vice President Ed Stack. Jarrett Bay Boatworks is the county sponsor of the Beginning Teacher of the Year award.

The Beginning Teacher of the Year Program is hosted by the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT). The award program is designed to honor a beginning teacher. Nominees must have successfully completed his or her first year of teaching in a North Carolina public school and must be currently in his or her second year of teaching.

“The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year Award is important because it encourages and celebrates individuals in their first years of the teaching profession,” Superintendent Dr. Rob Jackson said. “Our school system is proud to have outstanding beginning teachers and we are pleased to celebrate Ms. Huffman as the county’s Beginning Teacher of the Year.”

Dr. Jackson also visited and congratulated the county’s three finalists: Kaitlin Dowdle from Morehead City Primary School; Madison Hahn from West Carteret High School; and Rachel Rose from Smyrna Elementary School.

Croatan High School Principal Kay Zimarino called Ms. Huffman a confident and caring teacher. “Ms. Huffman brings her positive personality and can-do spirit to her classroom and to the school environment each day,” Mrs. Zimarino said. “She has incredible energy and serves as an excellent example of the dedicated and passionate beginning teachers in our county’s classrooms.”

Ms. Huffman grew up on a farm in Richlands, North Carolina. Her family continues to farm livestock and row crops. Ms. Huffman graduated from the University of Mount Olive with a degree in agriculture production systems: outreach and extension education. While in college, she was a member of the FFA and Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Program.

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