Achievers & Accolades

Local educator earns the Distinction of Cumberland County Schools' 2024 CTE Teacher of the Year award

By Staff Report, posted 1 month ago

“Be yourself, be there for your students, make them your priority, and listen to what they say because you are sometimes all they have,” said Betsey Vera in a press release. Vera was announced as Cumberland County Schools' 2024 Career and Technical Education (CTE) Teacher of the Year.

The surprise announcement came on Wednesday, March 27  in front of about 20 community and business partners along with school and district administrators during a CTE Business Advisory Board meeting on the campus of Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC).

The Health Science educator from Jack Britt High School not only shares this advice with other teachers, but also takes her own advice. Her colleagues say that she's very passionate about the work she does with students by "meeting each student where they are" and pushing them to do their individual best.

Known as 'Momma Vera' to many Jack Britt students, the long-time educator provides a safe space in her classroom for them, before and after school. Students go to her for advice when they need encouragement and support.

On the academic front, Vera uses technology in her classroom to inform her students and keep them up-to-date with numerous tools used in the medical field. As a full-time CTE teacher, who continues to work as a Home Health Care Nurse, she also uses her knowledge and  'real world' experience in the healthcare profession to help her students grasp medical concepts. Vera seeks out field trips for her students to attend so that they can engage with healthcare professionals and learn about various medical careers to see if this is what they truly want to do or if they want to choose another career field.

Vera's passion for 'educating the future' extends beyond the classroom as she collaborates with the Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center to organize school blood drives, fulfills the role of First Responder at school for the majority of the school year and serves as the adviser of the Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA)  preparing her students to compete at the local, state and national levels.

During the summer, Vera will go on to represent Cumberland County Schools in the Sandhills Regional CTE Teacher of the Year competition.

The North Carolina Center for Advancement for Teaching (NCCAT) Career and Technical Education (CTE) Teacher of the Year process is in its third year and was developed to honor and retain excellent CTE teachers and education leaders in North Carolina public schools and public charter schools. Candidates were nominated at the school level and finalists and the winners are selected by independent panels of local stakeholders.

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