Choral music instructor Renee Shatley of Draughn High School has been named Teacher of the Year in the Burke County Schools, officials say.
In addition, the school system said kindergarten instructor Amber Peterson of W.A. Young Elementary School in Morganton was named Elementary School Teacher of the Year.
Shatley said she took her first piano lesson at age 5 and was influenced by her grandfather, her church and her music teachers in school. She said she knows of cases when music helped keep her students in school.
“I am not a miracle worker,” she said. “I just teacher. But it is good to know that music helped a student not to give up.”
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“Documented studies have proven that everyone needs the arts, regardless of their career field, including scientists,” Shatley added. “It is a necessity for a successful society.”
Shatley, who has earned National Board certified teacher status, worked at East Burke High, Bandys High, Asheville A.C. Reynolds High and A.C. Reynolds Middle schools before coming to Draughn.
Peterson was honored by Burke County for the second time, In 2009, she was named Outstanding First Year Teacher.