NC county’s former teacher of year facing DWI charge after crash

Photo from WECT.

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Former New Hanover County teacher of the year, Meredith Kokoski, 33, was arrested after she crashed her car into three parked vehicles near 3rd and Orange Streets in Wilmington.

UPDATE: Former NC teacher of the year under investigation for inappropriate relationships

WECT reached out to Kokoski Saturday afternoon for comment on the incident.

“I am really ashamed, I made a terrible decision, I know that I have disappointed a lot of people,” Kokoski said. “I love my job, I have the best job in the world.”

Linda Thompson, spokesperson for the Wilmington Police Department says the accident happened around 11:00 p.m. Friday night.

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Officers believe Kokoski was under the influence when the crash occurred.

Kokoski stated she was on her way to visit a friend.

WECT photo of Kokoski. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

The car she was driving rolled over, however, she was not injured. No one was inside of the parked cars at the time of the crash.

Kokoski is being charged with DWI.

Kokoski received a Toyota Prius as part of her prize for being named New Hanover County teacher of the year in 2014.

Saturday Kokoski stated she was not driving that vehicle and had to turn it in to the dealership after one year.

“I know that I am loved by a lot of people, but not sure why you are making me out to be like this,” stated Kokoski.

According to a spokesperson with New Hanover County Schools, Valita Quattlebaum, Kokoski is currently a teacher at Laney High School.

Kokoski stated she is still employed and did speak to her principal about Friday night’s incident.

“I have spoken to my principal and she is very supportive. This kind of thing happens to educators all the time.”

WECT also received an email Saturday from Laura Bullard, Kokoski’s coworker regarding Kokoski’s character:

“What you don’t know about Meredith Kokoski is that regardless of any misjudgment; which we all have at one time or another in our lives, she is a beloved teacher, mother and friend to all. What you don’t know is that she spends her free time supporting programs for individuals with special needs.

What you don’t know is that she encourages love and acceptance through many outreach projects with students in what can be a very challenging time in adolescents’ lives. What you don’t know is that she challenges every student and teacher through word and deed to find and be the positive force for others. If you wish to spotlight her negatives, you’ll likely find just this one…perhaps you should reconsider ruining her life with your salacious grab for an ugly headline. You clearly don’t know Meredith Kokoski. “

Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved.  

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