Teachers of the year named at BOE meeting

Jesse Walker Community, Featured

Morgan County School System has announced four Teachers of the Year, one for each of Morgan County’s schools.

Ashley Wegmann was selected as Morgan County High School’s (MCHS) Teacher of the Year. Heather Jackson was selected at Morgan County Middle School’s (MCMS) Teacher of the Year. Lisa Layne was selected as Morgan County Elementary School’s (MCES) Teacher of the Year. Hillary Stapp was selected as Morgan County Primary School’s (MCPS) Teacher of the Year.

The four were honored at Monday night’s Morgan County Board of Education Board meeting.

“I was absolutely thrilled to be chosen,” said Wegmann, a literature teacher for the last five years at MCHS. “I feel like we have a very strong faculty here at MCHS and to be chosen by my peers was very humbling and a huge honor. I feel very privileged. I definitely want to make a lasting impact on my students’ lives. I try to teach character and integrity through literature. So, it’s more than just teaching reading and writing, but using literature to teach my students how to live life.”

Jackson, a Morgan County native who has taught at MCMS for the last 12 Years, was thrilled to be chosen for Teacher of the Year.

“It’s a wonderful honor. It’s just great to be able to represent MCMS and my community,” said Jackson.

Jackson, who graduated from MCHS herself, said it was the example of her teachers at MCHS that led her into a teaching career.

“They inspired me to want to be an educator,” said Jackson.

MCMS Assistant Principal Dr. Allison Woodard, was pleased to see Jackson honored for all her hard work at MCMS.

“I have known Ms. Jackson for six years, and she has an awesome and fantastic spirit. She has been a wonderful teacher here in our county,” said Woodard.

Lisa Layne, who is celebrating 25 years of teaching at MCES, could not be happier to be named Teacher of the Year.

“It was a wonderful surprise. I was very honored and blessed to be chosen by my colleagues. I think we are a big family here. I am just so happy to be a part of this big family,” said Layne. Ever since Layne was a teenager, she has worked jobs that involved children. After working at Kiddie Land in Watkinsville, she decided to pursue a teaching career.

“After that job, I just knew that I needed to be in education,” said Layne, who teachers third grade math, science, social studies and writing.

Laura Still, principal of MCES, spoke highly of Lisa Layne’s contributions to the school.

“Lisa Layne is an outstanding member of our faculty.  She is in her 25th year at MCES and currently teaches third grade.  She is a teacher leader and serves on the MCES Leadership Team.  When walking into Mrs. Layne’s classroom, you will see actively engaged students in a calm, supportive environment. We are blessed to have her as part of the MCES family!” said Still.

Stapp was pleasantly surprised to learn she earned the coveted Teacher of the Year designation for Morgan County Primary School.

“I just feel really honored. I was really excited when I found out. I didn’t expect it. I have learned from a lot teachers here so it meant a lot to me to be chosen,” said Stapp who has taught at MCPS for the last 10 years. Stapp graduated with a degree in special education. “Working with kids at risk has always been a passion of mine,” said Stapp.

Lisa Daniel, principal of MCPS, praised Stapp for her over-the-top effort when it comes to educating her students.

“Ms. Hillary Stapp is an excellent representation of the Primary’s school’s vision of ‘Setting the Stage for Student Success.’ Ms. Stapp works each and every day to do whatever it takes to meet her student’s needs,” said Daniel. “She does so with an innovative plan in mind. Ms. Stapp has implemented alternative seating options to allow flexibility in her learning spaces, has implemented the use of technology resources for all students, and works to implement project-based learning and inquiry-based learning with her students to engage them in class. Her students sing her praises and acknowledge that she makes learning fun,” said Daniel.

One of the four will be named District Teacher of the Year and will represent Morgan County for the state-level Teacher of the Year award.

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