Hannah Watlington always knew she wanted to come back and work as a teacher at Bartlett Yancey Senior High School, the sole high school in Caswell County, where she graduated. Watlington is now a maths teacher at the high school and the Caswell County Schools Beginning Teacher of the Year after completing her bachelor’s degree in mathematics education at NC State College of Education.
“It was always my goal to teach in my home county, so being nominated by my colleagues, then chosen by my district, made me feel as though I had not only accomplished my goal, but excelled in what I had sought out to do,” Watlington said.
Watlington has valued the opportunity to join their ranks and give back to her community at Bartlett Yancey where she teaches with some of the same educators who influenced her when she was a student.
“Throughout my years as a student, I had many teachers who positively impacted my life and fostered my dream of becoming an educator,” Watlington said. “I hope to not only spark a love of math in my students, but have a positive impact on their lives and encourage them to achieve their goals.”
Watlington takes the time to get to know each of her pupils individually in order to develop relationships with them. She does a warm-up each morning to promote conversation, participates in after-school events like sporting events and concerts, and warmly greets kids who drop by her classroom during lunch or planning.
“I love getting to see what they are interested in outside of the classroom and try to reference it in a lesson or relate it to math in some way,” Watlington said.