WITN’s Teacher of the Week: Hope Pierce of Wintergreen Primary

PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - WITN's Teacher of the Week for June 6 is Hope Pierce of Wintergreen Primary in Pitt County.

Pierce graduated from East Carolina University in May 1999 with a BS in Special Education. For my first ten years, she taught Special Education in middle school, working with students with learning disabilities, behavioral students, traumatic brain injury, and a few students with Autism. She also had a few years of experience with inclusion, which involves regular education students and special education students in the same classroom.

“Then I had a great opportunity to work in the preschool setting for students with Autism,” Pierce writes. “Which I can honestly say that this changed my life. I fell in love with these students and their parents.”

Pierce has been at Wintergreen Primary for the last five years working in the Autism setting. “There are so many challenges to each day, but the rewards I receive from my students and their family outweighs any troubles that may occur. I love being able to see my student grow, to find their words, to learn to socialize with others, to find what makes them happy and most importantly helping the parents be able to find a way to connect with their child who have Autism. People ask me all the time ‘How do you do this?’ I simply say ‘I can’t imagine doing anything else.’ I love my students, my parents and my job.”

The person who nominated Pierce wrote: “She goes above and beyond to make sure the children in her classroom have what they need, and I feel as though she doesn't get the credit she often deserves. So often, children in typical classrooms will tell the teacher "Thank you! You are awesome! You are my favorite teacher!" Most of the children in Ms. Pierce's class don't speak well or are non-verbal so she doesn't get to hear these phrases from them, but she finds that happiness in other ways such as a child learning a new word, giving her a hug or making eye contact without prompting. Many things are uncertain for any child's future and parents often wonder and worry, and it's a completely normal things to do. However, Ms. Pierce brings so much peace of mind when I drop him off for school each day as I know he is in the hands of someone who truly cares about not only his education, but my child as a person, a child, and for that I am forever grateful.”

Congratulations Hope Pierce!

Every week during the school year WITN will recognize a Teacher of the Week on WITN News at Sunrise. The winner receives a plaque and $100 Walmart gift card. To nominate your teacher, email TOTW@witn.com.

This is the final Teacher of the Week for the 2017-2018 school year. We will resume recognizing outstanding teachers when the 2018-2019 school year begins.