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Daniel Scott Named OCS Teacher of the Year

SBHS band director Daniel Scott was named OCS Teacher of the Year Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Daniel Scott, the band director from Swansboro High School, has been named Teacher of the Year by Onslow County Schools.  

Superintendent Barry Collins and a group of district leaders, including district administrators, Board members and community members surprised Scott during one of his classes on Sept. 10 and delivered the exciting news. They were accompanied by school staff and the Swansboro Middle School band. 

Scott has a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Bachelor of Music, both from Western Carolina University. He has been teaching for three years, all of which have been spent at Swansboro High School, where he is the band director and a music teacher for grades 9-12. 

Daniel Scott takes a photo with district staff, Board members, the SBMS band and others that surprised him with the news

As a high school student, Scott knew that he had two main goals in life. He wanted to change lives and change the world. At 17 years old, he realized that teaching was the only profession that could have a direct impact on the lives of future generations. 

“As a high school band director, I am afforded the opportunity to witness many of my students’ most monumental accomplishments and failures, and some of my greatest contributions to education exist through those moments,” he said.  

One of Scott’s lessons he hopes to pass on to his students, both inside and outside the classroom, is the idea of each person being an important, individual part to the success of the group. This concept applies to the minute details of a musical piece that add up to a grand performance, just as it applies to the students’ ability and willingness to uplift others outside of the classroom.  

Scott said his proudest moment as band director at SBHS came after the devastation of Hurricane Florence in September 2018. After seeing the community in need, he enlisted the help of his band students to pack boxes of food and clean up debris for heavily impacted families. He had 75 band students show up to help, even though some of them were left without homes themselves. Though the storm kept SBHS students out of school for several weeks, Scott said that their work in the aftermath of Florence taught them what it means to be a great member of the community, just as they had learned to be a great member of the band in class.  

Daniel Scott takes a photo with his students after being named OCS Teacher of the Year

As Scott starts his fourth year of teaching, he says that his greatest accomplishment thus far is being a part of the inspiration for five seniors to decide to pursue a career in music education. He said his greatest contribution to education is, and will continue to be, his passion to inspire his students to creatively find ways to have a bigger impact on more and more people.  

In her nomination letter, SBHS Principal Dr. Helen Gross said that Scott “has doubled the size and impact of the band program within our community with his expertise, charisma and dedication. Somehow, Mr. Scott manages to find the time daily to work 1-on-1 with students, even though class sizes exceed 75 students in some classes. Whether on the stage in one of the band programs or on the athletic fields as part of the marching band, spectators and fans are in awe of his work with students.” 

The OCS TOY Committee is led by Dr. Beth Folger, Deputy Superintendent, and includes the previous OCS Teacher of the Year and last year’s Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year, as well as a community member and other district staff. The 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 five finalists and conducted classroom observations to determine who would be the 2019-2020 TOY.  

Next, Scott 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:  
Catharine Koonce, White Oak High School 
Constance Robinson, Bell Fork Elementary School 
Daniel M. Scott, Swansboro High School 
Kristie Waller, Hunters Creek Elementary School 
Kimberly Zimmerman, Swansboro Middle School