New Hanover County Schools




New Hanover County Schools Announces NCCAT 2023 Empower Beginning Teacher of the Year Finalists

New Hanover County Schools Announces NCCAT 2023 Empower Beginning Teacher of the Year Finalists
New Hanover County Schools
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC-  Hannah Fitta, a teacher at  College Park Elementary, has been named one of Twenty-seven teachers from across North Carolina selected as finalists for the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) 2023 Empower NC Beginning Teacher of the Year Award. 
One of these talented educators will be named the 2023 NCCAT Empower Beginning Teacher of the Year. The award will be presented on March 9, 2023, on Western Carolina University's campus.
"We appreciate the enthusiastic response from all over the state for the Beginning Teacher of the Year Award," said NCCAT Executive Director M. Brock Womble. "These finalists provide a snapshot of the lasting impact great teachers have on our students from the first to the last day they step into a North Carolina public school. We are excited about this opportunity to honor teachers for the important work they do in our state."
The 2023 Beginning Teacher of the Year finalists are:
Alexis Alfred, Jackson County Schools
Madison (Maddie) Baker, Catawba County Schools
Ratasha Benton-Manley, Northampton County Schools
Christian Boletchek, Roanoke Rapids City Schools
Izabella Botello, Iredell-Statesville Schools
Karen Cardillo, Carolina Charter Academy
Jerico Carrillo, Guilford County Schools
Katelyn Clarke, Pitt County Schools
Breeana (Bree) Clayton, Henderson County Schools
Jamie Conley, Brevard Academy
Kbria Filali, Pender County Schools
Hannah Fitta, New Hanover County Schools
Kirby Forbes, Lee County Schools
Samantha Fortner, Mitchell County Schools
Emily Giardina, Chapel Hill Carrboro Schools
Kenna Gautier, Clinton City Schools
Ariana Hunter, Rutherford County Schools
Goodin Huss, Hoke County Schools
Tonya McGill, Cumberland County Schools
Natalia Mejia, Cabarrus County Schools
Sabrina Moore, Mount Airy City Schools
Gabe Patton, Johnston County Schools
Darbie Rash, Ashe County Schools
Nancy (Beth) Rose, Wayne County Schools
Maria Sutton, Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies (NEAAT)
Amber White, Rowan Salisbury Schools
Carly Wright, Thomasville City Schools
The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year will receive:
  • $5,000 cash prize
  • Participation in a GoGlobal NC trip in 2024
  • Instructional supply funds for the teacher's school
  • $2,000 cash prize
Finalists will receive
Travel expenses and substitute costs to participate in NCCAT professional development week March 6-10, 2023.
More information about the program is online at
For Immediate Release
January  5, 2022
For additional information, contact Russell Clark,