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Clarke Among NCCAT Empower Beginning Teacher of the Year Finalists

Clarke Among NCCAT Empower Beginning Teacher of the Year Finalists 



GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Katelyn Clarke, a third-grade teacher at Sam D. Bundy Elementary School, has been selected as one of 27 finalists for the 2023 North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) Empower Beginning Teacher of the Year Award. The candidates were chosen for their dedication, innovation and ability to inspire students to achieve.

Honored as Pitt County Schools' BTOY last fall, Clarke will represent the district and Northeast Region during a week of Teacher Leadership at the NCCAT Cullowhee campus that will culminate with winner and runner-up award presentations March 9.

The 2022-23 school year marks her second on the Bundy staff under the direction of principal Allison Setser.

"By giving students the autonomy to make the best decision, they realize that I value their decision in their learning," Clarke said when explaining her philosophy of teaching. "That empowers the student and allows them to feel that they are important and can make their own choice in their learning."

The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year will receive a $5,000 cash prize, instructional supply funds for their school and participate in a GoGlobal NC trip in 2024, while the runner-up will be awarded $2,000. All regional finalists will have their travel expenses and substitute costs covered while participating in the NCCAT program.

"We appreciate the enthusiastic response from all over the state for the Beginning Teacher of the Year Award," NCCAT Executive Director M. Brock Womble said. "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."

For more information about the program, please visit

NCCAT supports teachers and impacts students with high-quality professional development. Increasing teacher effectiveness is fundamental to improving public education. NCCAT provides teachers with new knowledge, skills, teaching methods, best practices, and information to take back to their classrooms. For more information about NCCAT’s professional development programs, visit or call (828) 293-5202.