Celebrating Exceptional Educators: Wilmington Teacher Wins National School Choice Week’s North Carolina Educator of the Year

Only Five Educators from North Carolina Selected in First-Ever Honor for Teachers

Wilmington, NC (Thursday, January 27, 2022) -- In celebration of National School Choice Week, Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina is honoring and awarding five educators in our state as part of the first-ever National School Choice Week North Carolina Educators of the Year.

National School Choice Week is the world’s largest celebration of opportunity in education and is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical public awareness effort. Nominations poured in from across the state, and one of the five winners is from Wilmington.

Heather Fahnestock has been an educator for more than 20 years and currently focuses on math and sciences for the 9th through the 12th grade at Waterview Learning Academy.

The nomination for Fahnestock was glowing saying, “The project and initiatives (of Fahnestock) are extensive. Life skills and community service projects are created every month in the 10 years at Waterview. Outreach groups include Lower Cape Fear Hospice, Adopt-A-Highway, One Warm Coat Drive, Multiple Sclerosis Society fundraisers, feed the homeless, quarterly beach clean-ups and fundraiser for the Domestic Abuse shelter to name a few. More close to home, Heather has created a mental health awareness group for local teens called The CHAT group. This is a weekly meeting, open to the public to give teenagers an opportunity to discuss stressors in their lives and find community resources to gain support in overcoming their challenges.”

Fahnestock was given the award on Thursday, January 27th, during a celebration at Beau Rivage Golf & Resort.

Fahenstock (right) pictured with PEFNC's Allison Guenther (Director of External Affairs)

"I started Waterview because children don’t fit in a box, per se. Public school doesn’t fit all students and we found a niche. We teach life skills and community skills. We want our students to be moral and ethnically sound when they leave and be productive in the world,” said Fahnestock.

Additionally, the nomination for Fahnestock said, “As some of the parents say, as each duckling leaves her nest, they have been nurtured and prepared for this journey of life. She dedicates her life to making sure her students leave with not just an academic skill set, but the tools to be moral and ethically sound humans.  They are also productive members of society, no matter what path they choose to take.”