ELIZABETHTOWN — A Bladen County teacher was recently recognized by the district for her outstanding efforts.
At the May board meeting, the Bladen County Board of Education recognized seventh-grade Elizabethtown Middle School science teacher Patsy Moffat as the system’s Teacher of the Year.
“She is an exceptional teacher,” said Elizabethtown Middle School Principal Elizabeth Cole. “She goes the extra mile in everything she does, she’s passionate about student achievement, and she steps to the plate in leadership by doing extracurricular activities for professional development of staff, as well as for the students.”
“I don’t think it still has resonated with me that all of this has happened,” Moffat said. “To be chosen out of 13 schools in the district is amazing, humbling, and an honor.”
Education was not on the horizon when Moffat finished college and began a career. A 2004 North Carolina State University graduate, Moffat received an undergraduate degree in animal science and intended to enter veterinary school. While she was awaiting acceptance to a university, the educator’s mother-in-law and sister, both of whom worked at Elizabethtown Middle School, told her about an opening in the eighth grade.
“They told me, ‘Just teach for a year, and if you get accepted in veterinary school, you can leave,’” she recounted. “I just fell in love with teaching and with the kids, though.”
Thirteen years later — after officially transitioning to the profession through lateral entry — Moffat now finds her days filled with mitochondria and machines rather than Mastiffs, and feisty Weimaraners have been replaced with wind speed. What hasn’t changed, though, is Moffat’s energy.
“We wear many hats in education, and to be able to put on the right hat and be the right thing for each kid — it’s exhausting some days, but it’s worth it,” Moffat commented.
Moffat said though her educational philosophy is continually growing and changing, one core belief stays the same.
“All kids can learn,” she remarked. “They may learn differently, but they can all learn. Being a good teacher is about having compassion and understanding that not all of them walk in the same shoes and come from the same circumstances, and being able to work around that for the good of the child.”
“I just love getting a new group each year and learning about them and watching them learn,” she added.
At the Board of Education meeting, Moffat was awarded a plaque for her district-wide recognition, and she now proceeds to the regional Teacher of the Year competition.
Also recognized at the Board of Education meeting for being Teacher of the Year in their respective schools were the following individuals: Phyllis Holland (Booker T. Washington), Jonathan Lewis (Bladenboro Middle School), Tahitian McKenzie (Bladenboro Primary School), Juli Feight (Bladen Lakes Primary), Marsha Burney (Clarkton School of Discovery), Gabriel Corbett (Dublin Primary), William Norton (East Arcadia), Anita Willington (East Bladen), Chrystal Outland (Elizabethtown Primary), Carla Bethea (Plain View Primary), Julia Gilmore (Tar Heel Middle School), and Marajo Kellihan (West Bladen).
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.