Katie Blanchard, DCS Teacher of the Year
Changing the World, One Student at a Time

Nags Head Elementary School Teacher of the Year Katie Blanchard is Dare County Schools Teacher of the Year. Beginning her seventh year as an educator in third grade, Blanchard stands out as a joyful, accomplished, master teacher who is dedicated to being the best she can be for her students, colleagues, and parents every day - and that is true by all standards. Earning her undergrad and graduate degrees from East Carolina University, Blanchard knew that she would become a teacher from a young age - by having “class” with her younger siblings as “students” and having grown up with parents who are both elite educators. Additionally, she holds both Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) and Middle Grades Language Arts licensure. She has held multiple leadership roles in each school where she has taught - Lakeforest Elementary (Greenville), and Manteo and Nags Head Elementary schools in Dare County.

Community service played a major role in shaping her career path.  She recalls volunteering in a third grade class during her senior year free period, serving as an older mentor on her church’s children’s choir, planning and participating in mission trips, and engaging in other school, community, and church opportunities.  “I always feel most fulfilled when I am helping people learn new things, when I am able to share my passions with others to benefit them in some way. Having a positive presence in the community allows me to get to know it in a more meaningful way and to gain personal energy and fulfillment by working to serve others.  While there are many factors which influenced me to become a teacher, the most significant is that I am passionate about sharing my love of learning with others,” says Blanchard.

“My ultimate goal is to nurture future leaders and I believe that leadership needs to start from a young age. As a teacher, I feel that I have the responsibility and privilege to positively influence young people to reach their potential, to find their purpose in the world, and to gain the equal education to which they have a right. I make it a priority to get to know each student as an individual and show him or her respect. I hope my students are able to discover that it is through making mistakes that we learn and it is through building each other up and learning about diverse populations that we grow. It is through taking responsibility for our own learning that we are able to master skills most effectively. I make it a priority to create a safe space for learning and growth to take place.

“With education and understanding comes respect and that is a crucial part of preparing students to be future leaders in our global society. I believe we will begin to see a decline in racial inequality and other injustices that plague our society when more students are engaged in classrooms that are led by open-minded teachers who value acceptance. Whether in math, reading, science, or social studies, I aim for each of my students to enjoy what they are learning and leave the classroom feeling respected.

“One student at a time, we have the power to change the world.”

Retired teacher (and grandmom) Rendy King has proctored in Blanchard’s classroom and was a weekly volunteer last year. King notes, “Katie’s classroom is an amazing place to learn! With an atmosphere of mutual respect, guidelines are set that encourage students to self-monitor their behavior and classroom procedures. Instructional technology is one of Katie’s many strengths, and technology is integrated into almost every lesson and activity. Katie is at ease with the equipment and tools needed to enhance her lesson presentations. Students are encouraged to use these tools individually and in small groups to enrich their learning and develop their problem-solving skills. The environment in which students in Katie Blanchard’s classroom is the environment that every child in North Carolina should have the privilege to experience.”
Manteo Elementary School Principal Steve Blackstock is Katie's dad. Blackstock notes, "Suzanne [First Flight Middle School Social eighth grade Social Studies teacher] and I were proud of Katie before she was named DCS teacher of the year, but we are especially proud that her colleagues and the district committee see what we have known all along. Katie is a beautiful person, loves her students, believes in the power of education, and is always looking for ways to give more students more success."

Katie Blanchard BOE

Nags Head Elementary School third grade teacher Katie Blanchard is Dare County Schools 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year. Beginning her seventh year as an educator, Blanchard stands out as a joyful, accomplished, master teacher who is dedicated to being the best she can be for her students, colleagues, and parents every day. Her undergrad and graduate degrees were earned at East Carolina University; she holds both Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) and Middle Grades Language Arts licensure. At the Board of Education meeting at First Flight High School on September 12, Blanchard was recognized by the Board for her achievement. From left, Board Chair Bea Basnight and Katie Blanchard with Superintendent of Schools John D. Farrelly.