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This school year Person High School chose Kristen Daniel as the Beginning Teacher of the Year.
She’s a new teacher to PHS as she started her teaching career as soon as she graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education in May 2017.
She grew up in Whispering Pines and attended Union Pines High School, although she was born in Columbia, S. C.
”I have always had a passion for teaching and am excited and honored that I am able to begin my teaching career at Person High School,” Daniel said.
Daniels has always had a passion for teaching that not only shows in her work but through her students who reflect on her as being a driven person to give the best to her students and work.
“She puts the students first and has only wanted success for us since day one,” sophomore Abby Mayer said.
Being a new teacher to the school came with struggles including learning from scratch, which took time and patience from her students to continue to grow together as a band.
”She is very goal driven and dedicated, she has taken on a amazing responsibility with student, band and parents and has done a great job with being her first year,” principal Nenell Sydnor-Waugh said.
Knowing the transition to having a new teacher would be hard, she proceeded to give her students the best that she possibly could to learn from them and to teach them through the process from start to finish.
“Since the very first day I got here, I have worked as hard as I can to be the best band director that my students need and deserve,” Daniel said.
The Beginning Teacher Of The Year was given to Daniel for plenty of reasons but the most important ones are that she came into a band without experience and got right to work. She also connected with each and every individual student and made tremendous progress.
”She came in very committed to us and that’s why she earned it,” Junior Caitlyn Mayer said.
Students in her class find the way that she teaches fun and interesting by the way she interacts with them on the teenage level of maturity.
“She also makes learning fun which is hard to do,” Sophomore Austin Torain said.
Daniel takes this award as a achievement of accomplishing a goal of hers by being the best teacher to her students that she can be.
Music is her passion and she plans to stay involved with it as long as she can even after retirement from teaching.
”It’s not always easy and some days are really hard, but I am in the career I always dreamed of and I am so grateful,” Daniel said.
Daniel recognizes that she’s not the only teacher that has worked hard for their students but also sees that she would never have received this award had it not been for the support that her fellow colleagues and students in this school have shown her this year.
Even some of her closest colleagues recognize the effort and work Daniel has shown this year.
“Being the band teacher is a huge undertaking to one person and she’s given her all to it,” teacher April Olson said.
“Coming into this position, I had so many questions and so much to learn and everyone has been absolutely incredible about helping me along the way,” Daniel said.