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Northside HS teacher Nicole Martin named OCS Teacher of the Year

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Nicole Martin, a Biology and AP Environmental Science teacher at Northside High School, has been named Teacher of the Year by Onslow County Schools.


Superintendent Stout and an entourage, including district administrators, Board members and NC Teacher of the Year Lisa Godwin, surprised Martin during her Honors Biology class Sept. 13.  They were accompanied by members of the band, Northside staff, students, and representatives from the clubs and organizations she oversees.


Martin hails from Connecticut, but has called Jacksonville her home since 2007.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.; Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Science Education from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and Graduate Certificate in Education of the Academically & Intellectually Gifted from East Carolina University. 


She has been teaching for four years and has been in her current position those four years.  In addition to teaching Biology, Honors Biology and AP Environmental Science, she is also the school’s Science Club, Science National Honor Society and Key Club advisor and she coaches the school’s Science Olympiad team. 


She is a member of the Association of American Educators, Science Teachers Association and NC Science Teachers Association.  Her appointments include Onslow County Secondary Science Honors Reviewer, New Student Orientation Director at Northside HS, Guidance Advisory Committee, Teachers Leading in the Profession Member and STEM Academy Advisory Committee.


In her professional biography Martin says she is a voracious reader and from an early age she loved learning. Many of her favorite books centered on characters that were not only action heroes, but also scientists.  “Literature became the first step on my road to becoming a teacher,” she stated.  In high school, she fit in every science class possible.  Her hands-on experiences there became her next step on her journey to becoming an educator.  By the time she entered college there was no doubt in her mind she would pursue science, particularly biology.  Countless hours spent alone in laboratories as part of her full-time work studies and doing research helped her reach the conclusion that laboratory work was not for her.  She still had a passion for science, but found helping others much more rewarding.  She concluded that she needed to pursue an education that would lead to a career in teaching and lifelong learning.


“In my classroom, I invite my students to join me on my own journey of discovery and learning, and encourage them to find their own path to becoming lifelong learners.  This is truly the most important thing a teacher can do,” she said.


When asked about her biggest accomplishments in education she replied, “Seeing my students graduate and head off to college to study science — they are my biggest accomplishments in education.”


The OCS TOY Committee reviewed portfolios of all teachers selected by their schools as their TOY. Interviews were conducted on the top 10 semi-finalists. Following the interviews the committee narrowed the field to the top five finalists and conducted classroom observations of those five to determine who would be the 2017-18 TOY.


Next Martin will go on to compete at the regional level. Winners at the regional level will compete for North Carolina Teacher of the Year.


TOY top five finalists included:

Nicole Martin, Northside High School

Cason Justice, Swansboro High School

Cynthia Tucker, Richlands High School

Stacey Horne, Meadow View Elementary

Sharon Grunden, Trexler Middle School


2017-2018 School Level Teachers of the Year

Each school in the district completed the process of selecting its Teacher of the Year.  The winners, chosen by their peers, are nominated to compete for the honor of Onslow County School’s 2018 Teacher of the Year.  Though it is difficult to narrow down the best of the best in a teaching community filled with highly qualified staff, the Teacher of the Year selection committee poured over the portfolios and narrowed the field down to ten semi-finalists.  The semi-finalists were interviewed September 6, individually, by committee members.  Their challenge – to narrow the field to five finalists.  The final decision to select the OCS TOY will be made following classroom observations of the five finalists September 12.


Aida Raquel Taylor

Bell Fork Elem

Caroline Seefeldt

Blue Creek Elementary

Ana Lopez

Carolina Forest Elem

Natalie Novak

Clyde Erwin Elem

Cindy Patane

Dixon Elementary

Jeffrey Herrett

Dixon High

Toni Meyer

Dixon Middle

Megan Bond

Hunters Creek Elementary

Cathy Darden

Hunters Creek Middle

Christine Francis

Jacksonville Commons Elem

Mary Downing

Jacksonville Commons Middle

Amber Lumley

Jacksonville High

Stacey Horne

Meadow View Elementary

Leisha Centeno

Morton Elem

Emily Kelly

New Bridge Middle

Nicole Martin

Northside High

Erika Watson

Northwoods Elementary

Angie Kautter

Northwoods Park

David Gould

Parkwood Elementary

Krystal Miller

Queens Creek Elementary

Olivia Ackerson

Richlands Elementary

Cynthia Tucker

Richlands High

Megan Batchelor

Richlands Primary

Gabriela Juzgado

Sand Ridge Elem

Bobbie Wedemann

Silverdale Elem

Desiree Keilman

Southwest Elem

Richard Mason

Southwest High

Mia Moore

Southwest Middle

Brittany Dawson

Stateside Elem

Dedra Adams

Summersill Elem

Mallory Floyd

Swansboro Elem

Cason Justice

Swansboro High

Zachary Borge

Swansboro Middle

Elaine Mansfield

Thompson Early Childhood Ctr

Sharon Grunden

Trexler Middle

Mary Ruffin

White Oak High








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