CHES Teacher of the Year
Lisa Groetsch - A Special Educator
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At the Board of Education meeting at Cape Hatteras Elementary School, Lisa Groetsch was recognized as Teacher of the Year for CHES. She has worked for ten years providing services to self-contained students, and inclusion in kindergarten through fifth. Additionally, she provides pull-out services to give instruction to children that cannot successfully function in regular education classes. She holds a degree in Rehabilitation Services from Penn State; she obtained lateral entry through East Carolina University. From left, Board member Danny Couch, CHES Teacher of the Year Lisa Groetsch, and Superintendent of Schools Sue Burgess.


Lisa Groetsch, Cape Hatteras Elementary School Teacher of the Year, has worked for ten years providing services to self-contained students, and inclusion in kindergarten through fifth. Additionally, she provides pull-out services to give instruction to children that cannot successfully function in regular education classes. She holds a degree in Rehabilitation Services from Penn State; she obtained lateral entry through East Carolina University and to complete requirements to become a special education teacher.

She comes from a family of educators, and has been involved at some level with feeling part of a school community all of her life. Two things steered her toward Exceptional Children – a skiing accident that left her unable to attend school for nine months; and her brother having Turret’s Syndrome. Both were important learning events for her. “These experiences have been driving forces for me to want to work in education, specifically special education. So that I can be one of those special people who really touch the lives of these students and their families, and help them be as happy and successful as they can be.”

Patty Hill, is a Speech-Language Pathologist, and works at Cape Hatteras Elementary and Secondary School of Coastal Studies. She sees Lisa Groetsch as “enthusiastic, energetic, and compassionate. She is constantly encouraging her students to do their best and to be proud of their accomplishments – and teaching them to advocate for themselves. Lisa has several strengths, but her main strength, from my observation, is her ability to motivate students. She always seems sincerely interested in their progress and presents material in a way that captures their attention.”

Stephanie Tenpenny is the Literacy Specialist at Cape Hatteras Elementary. “I am a firm believer that teachers are born and not made and Lisa Groetsch is a shining example of this. From the first time I saw her teach I had no reservations as to her ability to become a stellar teacher. Her compassion and dedication to her students has shown through from the beginning. I have also had the pleasure of having her as my own son’s special education teacher. With her guidance he blossomed both socially and academically. To this day she is still a person that he goes to for support and guidance.” 

“Sunshine!” exudes Diane Brown. “That’s what I think of when someone asks me about Lisa Groetsch. Sunshine! She has the most positive outlook of any teacher that I know.”

Lisa Groetsch sums it up. “I believe that I am a good teacher because I embrace the differences in the children. I try to teach that everyone is different and it is okay. I try to teach them to accept each other and support each other, and be understanding of the differences that make us unique.”