WITN’S Teacher of the Week: Tricia Stowe from Chocowinity Middle School

CHOCOWINITY, NC (WITN) - WITN's Teacher of the Week for October 18 is Tricia Stowe from Chocowinity Middle School in Beaufort County.

Stowe graduated from Washington High School and earned her undergraduate degree from Meredith College. “ I entered the teaching profession later than most teachers,” Stowe says. “After watching some extraordinary teachers instruct my daughters, I entered the Master of Arts in Teaching program at East Carolina University.” Stowe has been teaching in Beaufort County ever since.

The person who nominated Stowe wrote the following:

One of the things Ms. Stowe does to stand out is recognize that her students need more than just academics to succeed at life. In addition to being an excellent teacher, she steps in when she sees a child in need and finds way to help them. I have watched her secure coats in the winter for children who didn't have one, and she has passed down her own children's clothing to those in need. She has found ways to have shoes donated for kids who needed them. She recognizes the need and the effect it has on her students, and she makes it happen.

Ms. Stowe finds ways to weave life lessons into the school day, which I believe will result in many students making better choices later in life. For example, one year she taught them the principle of compound interest. She showed the good side of it (how saving money can grow) and the bad side (how paying only the minimum on loans can result in costing a lot more in the long run). She has also talked about how poor choices can set the path for a hard life. She gives examples of people who made just one really bad choice and how it affected the rest of their life. It's amazing how she weaves these "life lessons" into regular lesson plans!

At the beginning of the school year, she supplies pencils, notebooks, and other school supplies purchased from her own funds so that the kids will have a great start. She's not an enabler and expects kids to come to school prepared and ready to learn, but she does act with compassion and understands there are unique circumstances that cause kids to get behind. Instead of chastising them, she works with them to get them back up to speed.

In addition to being a great teacher at Chocowinity Middle School, Ms. Stowe has been a positive influence for my own children, and she is now doing the same thing with my grandchildren. I'm sure it has something to do with our friendship, but I think the overriding factor is that it's about kids. She's devoted to helping as many kids succeed as she can.

Congratulations, Mrs. Stowe!

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.