John Buford celebrated as 2023 Teacher of the Year for Dare County Schools

Published 1:53 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2023

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Dare County Schools has announced that John Buford is the district’s 2023 Teacher of the Year. This prestigious award recognizes Buford’s exceptional dedication to education, innovative teaching methods, and unwavering commitment to his students’ success.

“Buford has been an integral part of the First Flight school community for 18 years and currently works as a strings and chorus teacher at First Flight Middle School (FFMS),” noted a Dare County Schools press release. “Throughout his tenure, he has consistently demonstrated a passion for teaching and a genuine love for his students.”

“From the very first day I met Mr. Buford, it was clear that he is in the right business. He loves kids, teaching, and music! In addition, he has a community minded, collaborative approach to making sure our students get what they need to survive in school and life,” said FFMS Principal Diane Childress.

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Buford’s dedication goes beyond the classroom. In addition to his chorus classes, he directs the middle school theater productions and champions the arts through his volunteer work. His students are given numerous opportunities to serve the community by hosting free concerts and performing at local assisted living centers.

“Mr. Buford’s music classes are some of the most engaging classes I’ve experienced,” stated Childress. “He sings from his soul and his students want to be like him! Students build on their skills and become fluent professional singers who take risks, learn from feedback and ultimately, take pride in their work as a collective team of singers.”

Buford’s teaching style empowers students to become their best selves. He utilizes creative teaching methods and digital tools to make learning fun. Students often begin taking his classes in sixth grade and follow him and his program through high school.

Superintendent of Dare County Schools Steve Basnight expressed great pride in Buford’s achievements, saying, “As the superintendent, I am thrilled that we have educators in Dare County Schools of the caliber of Mr. Buford! As a parent, my child has been a direct beneficiary of John’s passion and expertise, not only in chorus, but also in life. I cannot thank him enough for the encouragement and support he has provided to my child and her classmates beginning in middle school and continuing into high school.”

“He does what he does each day for kids, not for recognition, and it is why his colleagues voted for him as our Teacher of the Year,” said Childress.

Buford will move forward and represent Dare County in the regional Teacher of the Year competition.