WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A former WECT reporter received the top honor Tuesday at the Downtown Wilmington Rotary Club’s third annual New Hanover County Schools Rookie of the Year ceremony at Cape Fear Country Club.
Stacey Pinno Maurer, who teaches fifth grade at Wrightsboro Elementary School, was named rookie of the year. She received a plaque and a $1,000 gift card presented by the Rotary Club.
During her speech, Maurer noted her time at WECT helped inspire her to make a difference in the community. Covering a story on validated gang members, many of them teenagers, proved to be a turning point.
“I realized from that day on, I didn’t want to just report on what was happening, but I wanted to be somebody that was making something happen," Maurer said. "That’s when I enrolled in UNCW’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, and haven’t looked back since.”
From a field of 16 nominees, five finalists were selected. The other four finalists, who each made remarks and received plaques and $500 gift cards, were Alisha Little (Ogden Elementary School), Stephen O'Neil (Ashley High School), Alex Schaivone (New Hanover High School) and Jennifer Yates (Johnson Pre-K Center).
Here is a full list of rookie of the year nominees:
- Jacob Duvall, Murray Middle School
- Annette Flechtner, Parsley Elementary School
- Kelsey Frantz, Murrayville Elementary School
- Amanda Hoke, Forest Hills Global Elementary School
- Coraey Houser, Snipes Academy of Arts and Design
- Alisha Little, Ogden Elementary School
- Kailey Mathews, Anderson Elementary School
- Stacey Pinno Maurer, Wrightsboro Elementary School
- Mauve Mense, Bradley Creek Elementary School
- Mallory Neidenthal, Pine Valley Elementary School
- Stephen O’Neil, Ashley High School
- Ann Marie Arseneau Pierce, Williston Middle School
- Jennifer Profeta, Eaton Elementary School
- Alex Schaivone, New Hanover High School
- Allyson Wiggs, Trask Middle School
- Jennifer Yates, Johnson Pre-K Center