WITN’s Teacher of the Week: Dawn Tillett from Dare Learning Academy

Published: Feb. 26, 2020 at 7:47 AM EST
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WITN’s Teacher of the Week for February 26 is Dawn Tillett from Dare Learning Academy.

Tillett is a native of Dare County. She graduated from Manteo High School and went on to receive her Associates in Arts degree from College of the Albemarle and her Bachelor’s degree in Middle Grades Education from Elizabeth City State University.

Before starting her adventure in education, Tillett and her husband owned a souvenir shop in Nags Head. She says she realized she wanted to contribute to the community more, which is why she decided to close up the shop and go back to school to earn her degree in Middle Grades Education with concentrations in math and science.

After graduation, she began teaching seventh grade math at Manteo Middle School in her hometown. She says she loved teaching middle school because the kids are “growing by leaps and bounds and finding out who they are.” She remained in that position for 17 years.

Like middle school students, Tillett says she too was growing and changing. She says she was ready to try out a new position, which is when she made the switch to Dare Learning Academy. She now teaches biology, physical science, earth environmental science and math to high school students.

She says she “enjoys building relationships in this smaller class setting and helping students find success in school and out.”

The person who nominated Mrs. Tillett wrote, “I nominate Dawn Tillett, a teacher at the Dare Learning Academy in Manteo, NC, for your Teacher of The Week. She used to teach math and science at Manteo Middle School before she moved over to the DLA. Her EOC scores always came back incredibly high but despite that being a huge achievement, she was always so very humble.

Mrs. Tillett has an undeniable dedication to her students and is the type of teacher who makes it a point to understand students. She goes above and beyond for her kids. One time, I was speaking at my school's FCA and she made breakfast for it (and I didn't even ask). You could find her staying late after school to tutor kids so she could make sure they understood the material.

One girl in her class wanted to try out for cheerleading but didn't have the money to pay for a physical. Mrs. Tillett overheard this and immediately offered to get the student a physical. I've known Mrs. Tillett for over three years and she's always been there for me when I need her. There have times I've emailed her at ten o'clock crying because I couldn't figure out a math problem and she was quick with a reply of helpful tips and encouraging words.

Over the years, countless students have told me about how Mrs. Tillett impacted their lives and I'm just another testament to that. This teacher deserves the world and to win WITN's Teacher of the Week.”

Congratulations, Mrs. Tillett!

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 gift card for school supplies.