Cumpston named school’s 2016-2017 TOY


Julio Hernandez, Staff Writer

History teacher Emile Cumpston was selected by her peers to represent the school as its 2016-2017 teacher of the year.

This year marks Cumpston’s 22nd year in the classroom, 13 of which have been at Manteo High School. By nominating Cumpston for this honor, her co-workers acknowledged her dedication to students in and out of the classroom.

Cumpston earned her degree in political science from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating, Cumpston took various jobs in Durham and Chapel Hill, until returning to school to earn a teaching certificate. She attended a teaching certification program at Elon University.  Through this she had the opportunity to student teach and gained her teaching certification in 1993.  She also earned her National Board certification in 2002, and renewed it in 2012.

“I wanted to be a social studies teacher to help students prepare for their roles as citizens as well as share stories about our country’s past,” Cumpston said.

She began her teaching career Durham, where she taught for a year and a half.  In 1996, Cumpston moved to Manteo and began teaching in Hyde County. While in Hyde County, she received Teacher of the Year for the 1999-2000 school year. She commuted to Hyde County from Manteo to teach until August 2004 when she began here.

“I feel that MHS is a great school with a supportive community that makes you feel at home,” Cumpston said.

Cumpston currently teaches AP Government and US History. She was previously the National Honor Society co-adviser, and is currently the adviser of the History Club. She is involved with the Model U.N., and she serves as the history department chair.

“I had an extraordinary time teaching the history of past generations and showing students that history does not have to be a boring class,” Cumpston said.

In the classroom, she strives to create a positive learning environment and experience for all her students.

“Ms. Cumpston is one of my favorite teachers. She’s sweet, funny, optimistic, patient, driven, hardworking and one heck of a teacher. Every day in her class I learned something new and exciting about history, which as a girl who usually doesn’t like history, is saying something,” junior Elizabeth Wheless said.

Cumpston feels honored to have been selected by her co-workers.

“I wish that every teacher in this school could have the right to be teacher of the year,”  Cumpston said.  “The reason that I believe that all the teachers should have this title is that they all worked together to teach all the students and make this school a great school. I could not have been the teacher of the year without the help of the whole staff.”