During a surprise announcement Friday afternoon, Hoke County School District’s Principal of the Year, Antonio Covington, and Teacher of the Year, Elizabeth Santamour, were named the 2022 NC Sandhills Region Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Covington and Santamour are one of nine finalists in each category now in the running for 2021 NC Principal and Teacher of the Year honors. Both work at East Hoke Middle School.
The announcement came as a complete shock to them both.
“I come from very humble beginnings,” Covington shared. “It means so much to win the Sandhills Region. It proves that God is in control, to take an at-risk youth from a single-parent home of poverty, and place me in a rural community school where when I walk through the hallways as the leader of the building.”
Covington continued, “I see myself sitting in each one of the classrooms. I once mentioned to the district leadership that I am in a fight against poverty and my goal is to lead as many as I can out, using education. Hoke County has been great to my family and my mission, as this school district also does not allow poverty to be used as an excuse to fail.”
“I am so incredibly honored to have been selected as the 2022 Sandhills Region Teacher of the Year,” Santamour said. “This entire process is beyond what I could have ever imagined for myself. Our region is filled with amazing educators and I look forward to representing them and sharing my passion for education across the state.”
The Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year for the state will be named during an awards banquet in Raleigh this spring.
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