WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – More than a dozen teachers in Beaufort County were nominated for the 2023-2024 Farm Bureau Teacher of the Year award.

The auditorium at Beaufort County Community College was filled Wednesday night with teachers and school employees as Northside High School band teacher, Daniel Garcia, was announced the as the county’s Teacher of the Year.

“I’m excited. It was a shock and all. When I sat over there earlier, I didn’t think I’d won. And so when they called my name, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s me’,” said Garcia.

Not only was Garcia excited about the big win, but his wife shared in the celebratory achievement for all of his work in the school system.

“I’m just proud of him. He’s done a great job. He definitely deserves this award,” said Garcia’s wife. “He’s put a lot of time and energy into planning all of these events for the kids, making sure that they get out of the home and get active and stay active and stay positive. So, he’s done a great job this year.”

“To be able to honor them mean so much,” said Lynda Loveland, Director of Communications for Farm Bureau said about Wednesday’s ceremony.

Loveland said it’s inspiring to see so many teachers in one room that continue to show up every day and persevere to teach the next generation. She said that’s the case not only across the state but within Beaufort County. The kids are fortunate to be in good hands of teachers.

“I am the mother of three children, so I know very well what teachers go through. I mean, it’s fantastic to be able to come out and honor them,” said Loveland.

“I mean, they work hard every day, they work after hours for everything they do for these kids in the classroom, and to be coming out on teachers Appreciation Week, as well.”

The energy and excitement don’t stop here. Garcia will now get ready to go on to compete in the regionals in the fall.