Bernardita Alarcon of East Middle Named MCS Teacher of the Year
Superintendent Mark Garrett is pleased to announce that Bernardita Alarcon has been selected as the 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year for McDowell County Schools. Ms. Alarcon has been on staff at East Middle since 2017. Additionally, Stephanie Goudreau has been named the Elementary Teacher of the Year. Ms. Goudreau teaches 4th Grade at Old Fort Elementary. Ms. Alarcon was elated at the news and was happy to celebrate with her students and colleagues. She shared “It is such an honor to be chosen as McDowell County’s Teacher of the Year among so many inspiring teachers. I’m so pleased to represent not only East Middle (which has the most caring team of staff) but McDowell County Schools.”
Superintendent Garrett and members of the district staff visited East Middle and Old Fort on Wednesday to make the announcements in front of Ms. Alarcon’s and Ms. Goudreau’s students and colleagues. Garrett shared that “Each of our 14 school winners is worthy of this honor. We had a great time celebrating with all of them, as well as last year’s group, at our District event last week at the Historic Carson House. We are very blessed with great teachers in McDowell County Schools.”
The faculty at each school in the district selects a school winner each year as part of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Teacher of the Year process. This year’s process included submission of a professional portfolio and an interview with the district selection committee. Each year the district honors an Elementary and a Secondary Teacher of the Year. One of those two is then selected as the MCS Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Alarcon joined the staff at East Middle in 2017 as the English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. Since 2019 she has also taught Spanish. From 2014 to 2017 Ms. Alarcon served as the ESL teacher at Maestra Elsa Santibáñez Middle School in her home city of Santiago, Chile. She completed a one year stint as a Language Assistant in Manchester, England in 2013-2014. Prior to that she served as a Monitor for the summer and winter camps sponsored by the Ministry of Education in Curico, Chile. She earned her Bachelor degree in English Language Arts from the University of Santiago (Chile) in 2013. Ms. Alarcon added “The Hispanic community is forever evolving and I’m passionate to help these students grow not only educationally, but also emotionally and socially. I’m also proud to have a daughter who teaches and supports me everyday. I hope I can give back to her and my students at least half as much as they give me. I also hope that this shows other Hispanic people that they can achieve anything they want and make a huge difference by working with others as a team.”