GREENVILLE - The winning teacher, Joy Carter, was given a new 2013 Hyundai Elantra to drive for a year, thanks to The Joe Pecheles Automotive Group.
The Farm Bureau-Pitt County Schools Teacher of the Year luncheon was held on Thursday at the Rock Springs Center in Greenville.
After lunch and an entertainment segment, each teacher nominated for the award was given a plaque for their accomplishments.
Dr. Beverly Emory announced the five finalists. The group included: Patrick Searcy, of Falkland Elementary School, Lynnly Martin, of Hope Middle School, Cathy Marsh, of A.G. Cox Middle School, Anita Koen, of South Central High School and Joy Carter, of Elmhurst Elementary School.
Carter was then selected as the winner. She has been a teacher for more than 20 years. It's the second year in a row a music teacher has been selected.
"It's wonderful. It smells great. I love new car smells because my car is ten years old so I haven't smelled it for a while," Carter said.
On top of getting a free car for a year, Carter also received gift cards and cash from several local businesses.
"I was really shocked. I had no idea there was this much involved in it at all. So things just kept coming and coming and I just couldn't believe it. I'm very very pleased," she said.
The runner-up, Patrick Searcy, also received a gift basket.
"It was a great honor just to be nominated because the teachers and the staff of the school vote you in so it was great to be nominated from my school and then to be selected with all these great teachers in Pitt County," Searcy said.
Brian Pecheles said this is their second year being a part of the event and they have no plans on stopping any time soon.
"Being able to reward such hard working individuals like Joy, teacher of the year here in Pitt County, and all the hard work and dedication they do each and every day. It's so rewarding to be a part of that," Pecheles said.
Carter will have the free car for one year. After that, she will have to return it.