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Broughton High School teacher named one of the top teachers in the US

Wake Teacher of the Year a product of Wake County Schools

Video: Broughton High School dance teacher Betsy Graves works with her classes on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. Graves was named the 2017-18 Wake County Teacher of the Year.
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Video: Broughton High School dance teacher Betsy Graves works with her classes on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. Graves was named the 2017-18 Wake County Teacher of the Year.

A former Wake County Teacher of the Year is now in the running to be named the best magnet school teacher in the nation.

Broughton High School announced this week that dance teacher Betsy Graves was named Magnet School of America’s Region IV finalist for 2019 National Teacher of the Year. She’s now one of eight finalists in the nation vying for the trade organization’s top award.

It’s an award that teachers in Wake County are familiar with winning. Last year, April Guenzler, a kindergarten teacher at Brooks Elementary School in Raleigh, was named the 2018 National Teacher of the Year by Magnet Schools of America.

Graves was named Wake County’s 2017-18 Teacher of the Year. Graves, 28, is a product of Wake County, having attended Wake Forest-Rolesville High School and Meredith College.

Graves has taught at Broughton, in Raleigh, since 2013. She told the News & Observer in 2017 that she knew that she wanted to be a teacher since she came to kindergarten career day at Wake Forest Elementary School wearing her grandmother’s vest with the ABC’s on it while having her hair in a bun and an apple in her hand.

Video: The Broughton High School student body surprises dance teacher Betsy Graves with a pep rally in Holliday Gym after she was awarded the 2017-18 Wake County Teacher of the Year on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 in Raleigh, N.C.

“I just want my students to find some sort of passion,” Graves said in a 2017 interview. “It doesn’t have to be dance but something, because to go through life and to not have something that you care about, I can’t imagine.

“I care so much about this art form and my profession, and I feel very fortunate that I get to do it every day, because I’m never bored.”

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T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.
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