New Hanover County Schools




New Hanover County Schools Announces 2021 Rookie of the Year

For Immediate Release
February 12, 2021
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Abbey Emerson, Rookie of the Year
New Hanover County Schools, in collaboration with the Wilmington Rotary Club, held the annual Rookie of the Year celebration on Friday, February 12, 2021 to honor excellence among beginning teachers with three years or less of experience. Carolina Beach Elementary School first grade teacher Abbey Emerson has been named NHCS Rookie of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year. She was recognized at the event with a plaque, flowers, and $1,000 in total funds presented by the Wilmington Rotary Club. 
Ms. Emerson’s essay highlighted the importance of teamwork and collaboration when educating our youngest learners. “We all have a piece in the bigger puzzle; new and experienced teachers, mentors, administrators, county support and legislators, students, school communities, teacher assistants and specialists, and when we work together to support one another, it leads to substantial success among new teachers and retaining them,” says Emerson. “Collaboration is key and promotes the smooth shaping of those puzzle pieces and where they fit to receive and give support when needed.”
“Whether Ms. Emerson is teaching face-to-face or remotely, she engages all of her students in rigorous and meaningful instruction,” says Deanna Leake, Principal. “She accommodates multiple learning styles to meet the unique needs of all of her learners. She brings an energy and enthusiasm with her that cannot be taught. This along with her eagerness to learn about new strategies, tools, and innovative resources make for the perfect combination for effective teaching. I look forward to seeing the positive footprint that she leaves in her tracks as she continues to excel in this field.”
“Abbey has worked extremely hard for this honor and is more than deserving,” says Board of Education Chairperson Stefanie Adams. “Each one of our teachers have shown dedication and commitment to the students they serve over the past year. They have performed their duties heroically despite the challenges that continue to face us all. As a beginning teacher at Carolina Beach Elementary, Abbey has shown compassion and understanding for her students, helping them to achieve success through excellence in teaching. I know this is only the beginning for Abbey and we wish her the best of luck in the years to come.”
The Rookie of the Year recognition is a partnership between the Rotary Club of Wilmington and New Hanover County Schools honoring educators in their second and third years of teaching. Candidates are nominated by their administrative team, allowing NHCS to recognize excellence in beginning teachers and maximize their capacity to positively impact others. The program motivates teachers to step into leadership roles by increasing their sphere of influence and providing a platform to share the great things happening in so many classrooms across the district.