Beginning Teachers

General Information

Slide of Beginning Teacher of the Year with caption of Congratulations Damaris Prieto

Fayetteville, NC – Damaris Prieto got the shock of a lifetime yesterday when Cumberland County Schools (CCS) Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr., unexpectedly showed up during her planning period at South View High School (SVHS) to present her with balloons and flowers.

This was the school district’s special way to recognize the ninth-grade lateral entry English teacher for being selected as CCS’ Beginning Teacher (BT) of the Year. Several school administrators and 15 of her coworkers were on hand to see Prieto, who was truly overjoyed.

“This was a complete surprise,” said Prieto. “I want to thank everyone for this honor. It’s been great because I really love the kids we’re working with. Again, thanks so much!”

In the nomination form submitted by SVHS Assistant Principal Tyson Johnson, she describes Prieto as “a go-getter and extremely nurturing and helpful.” She wrote that the second-year teacher was recognized for her ability to connect with her students through classroom management and engagement.

“She [Ms. Prieto] uses ‘out-of-the-box instructional practices’ and establishes a classroom culture of mutual respect that was so evident that administration cannot recall ever receiving a discipline referral from her throughout the entire year,” said Dr. Tonjai Robertson, principal at SVHS. “Ms. Prieto continuously demonstrates strong content knowledge and instructional techniques that provide her with the ability to positively impact the academics and behaviors of her diverse population.”

Prieto and the other local BT finalists Jacklyn Hamilton from College Lakes Elementary School, Kendra LoSapio from Elizabeth Cashwell Elementary School and Shakira Hodges from Ireland Drive Middle School will be recognized at the Oct. 8 Cumberland County Board of Education meeting.

Prieto will go on to compete on the regional level in pursuit of the first North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) Beginning Teacher of the Year Award.

The NCCAT Beginning Teacher of the Year process was developed to honor beginning teachers and to retain those who show promise as excellent teachers and educational leaders in North Carolina public schools and public charter schools.

Image of Beginning Teachers logo with CCS Grad on a colorful bookWelcome to Cumberland County Schools

Where We Believe in Supporting Beginning Teachers for


“Success Unlimited with Cumberland County’s Entry Support System”


One of Cumberland County’s goals is to recruit, select, develop and retain the best personnel. Your success as an educator is important to us. This year will be filled with many rewards and challenges. SUCCESS, Success Unlimited with Cumberland County’s Entry Support System, an induction program, is organized to provide support to our new professionals.

Goals of SUCCESS:

  • To assist the new teacher in developing decision-making skills to include: positive expectations for all students, techniques in competent classroom management, skills in lesson planning and techniques for effective instruction.
  • To establish a collaborative professional team responsible for providing assistance and support.
  • To increase career commitment and retention of initially licensed teachers.
  • To meet mandated requirements related to induction and certification.
  • To transmit the culture of the school and system.
Published by Leigh Miller on September 24, 2019

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