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Garner Earns NCCAT CTE Teacher of the Year Honors

Garner Earns NCCAT CTE Teacher of the Year Honors


J.H. Rose High School business teacher Kurt Garner was named the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) 2023 Career & Technical Education (CTE) Teacher of the Year in a special ceremony at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center on Thursday night.

Garner, who was selected as one of 24 finalists for the honor in June, represented Pitt County Schools during a week of professional development on the Western Carolina University campus before being formally recognized as the state's top CTE teacher. The award was presented for the second time, with all finalists from across North Carolina in attendance.

The 2023-24 school year marks his sixth on the Rose staff and 17th in the PCS system. Garner's appointment at JHR in August 2018, which includes instruction in computer engineering, programming, and Microsoft Office, followed 11 years at D.H. Conley High School, where he taught in a similar capacity beginning in 2007.

In addition to his selection as PCS Teacher of the Year in 2011, Garner was honored as the North Carolina Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Adviser of the Year in 2016. He currently serves on the organization's state executive board. He is also an adviser for the National Technical Honor Society and has held membership in the National Business Education Association since 2005.

A former student said Garner taught her countless things about succeeding in business and the real world. She noted, "Without his continuous support, motivation, and drive to impact every student's life, I truly do not know where hundreds of students would be. This student concluded by sharing, "As an education major, I constantly think about what I want to be like as a teacher. I am always thinking about what I will be like standing in front of my classroom, teaching, and trying to make an impact on my students' lives. Truthfully, if I can be even half the educator Mr. Garner is, I can make an impact like no other."

NCCAT is thankful for the opportunity to celebrate the teaching profession, according to NCCAT Executive Director Dr. M. Brock Womble.

"What is unique about Mr. Garner and all the finalists is that not only are they incredibly talented in their field and in the way they inspire students, but they also care about their community," Womble said. "CTE teachers across our state impact students and families meaningfully while helping students gain real-world experience. Meeting all the finalists this week was a pleasure for the NCCAT staff. All of them are outstanding. We appreciate everyone who made this week and event possible to honor the teaching profession."

The NCCAT Career & Technical Teacher of the Year process was developed to honor teachers who are the future of education in North Carolina. Information about the program is online at

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.