4 area teachers vying for NC School Hero

LEDGER – Several Mitchell County teachers are in the running as North Carolina Education Lottery School Heroes. The program provides North Carolina residents with the opportunity to celebrate everyday people positively affecting the lives of students. 

The contest rewards 10 winning teachers and their affiliated school with a $10,000 cash prize. The person who nominated the winner receives $1,000. 

Teachers nominated as of Monday, March 4, include Ben Hutchings, of Gouge Elementary, and Matthew Sanders, Melisa Cadell and Matthew Hurd, of Mitchell High School. 

Hutchings is the severe and profound EC teacher at Gouge. 

“He has the magic touch with these kids,” said Moira Hutchings, who nominated Ben for the award. “Having also worked at Bowman Middle and Mitchell High, as well as coaching many sports, Ben has impacted the lives of countless students in our county. He is an amazing teacher and wonderful friend to the kids who need it the most.”

Sanders is the band director at Mitchell High School and Harris and Bowman middle schools. He was nominated by his father, Jeffery Sanders, who did so because of his son being a “hardworking band director trying to keep music alive in Mitchell county, teaching children to love music and work together as a team at three different schools,” he said. 

Cadell, a teaching artist at Mitchell, was nominated by Mitchell senior Caleb Tolley.

“Melisa Cadell is the greatest example of a hero,” Tolley said. “This lady works nonstop every day to make sure every kid in her classroom feels welcomed and wanted. She taught me that no matter what happens in life just smile and continue on. In her art class, we are a family. No one is allowed to bully anyone, and we all feel safe.”

Mitchell senior Macie Stafford nominated history teacher Matthew Hurd.

“From being a marine to becoming a high school American history teacher, Mr. Hurd instills the pride of being an American into every single one of his students,” Stafford said. “Every year he takes his junior class to Washington, D.C., to show them the nation’s capital. I am so proud to have been one of his students. He is one teacher that students will never forget.”

Cast a vote by visiting www.ncschoolheroes.com/ and selecting Mitchell County from the dropdown list. Voting and nominations close Sunday, March 31.

“Every school has their heroes,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “Every day they stop at nothing to help our students achieve their dreams. This year, we’re proud to offer to North Carolinians a chance to say, in a big collective way, thanks for all of what they do.”

Any North Carolina resident ages 18 or older can nominate someone for the contest, which is open to all K-12 public school employees. 

The MItchell News

Mailing Address: PO Box 339 
Spruce Pine, NC 28777 
Phone: 828-765-7169
Fax: 828-765-1616