Teachers of the Year
Story and Photos by Kathryn
This past week four shocked Morgan County teachers were told by friends and colleagues that they were the Teacher of the Year for their respective schools.
Each honoree has gone through the process of being nominated, and then voted for by their peers. State guidelines for Teacher of the Year declare that the nominees and winners must be certified and be, “exceptional, dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled.”
According to Assistant Superintendent Sarah Burbach, after the winner from each school is interviewed the county-wide Teacher of the Year will be announced on Nov. 13. The system-wide winner then has a month to prepare their application for state Teacher of the Year.
“They keep changing,” Butler says of the Accounting, Business Essentials, and Web Design classes she teaches to ninth, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. “So they keep my interest.” After seeing how much her college roommate enjoyed being an education major, Butler switched from Economics to Business Education. Of her 14 years in teaching, she’s spent four of them at MCHS. She considers, “seeing students not reach their potential,” to be the hardest part of teaching.
Barrett began her teaching career at MCES in 2005. She is a fifth grade Math, Science, and Social Studies teacher. To be an exceptional teacher, Barrett thinks you should, “have a love for it, listen to students, make learning fun, and make kids responsible for their learning”.
Her students said Barrett is a great teacher because, “She is cheerful and happy all the time.” Another student added, “She takes us to Chop House for good behavior!”
Bryant teaches sixth, seventh, and eighth grade Theatre. This is her fifth year at MCMS. Bryant chose to teach Theatre because she enjoys, “finding the potential in students.”
Bryant thinks the skills students learn in her drama class will be applicable in everyday life. “Finding creative solutions to learning problems,” is the most exciting thing about teaching,” according to her.
“I come from a long line of teachers. It just seemed pretty natural; my family has always emphasized academics,” Ricks replied when asked why she became an educator. Ricks has been in education for 22 years, this being her 10th year at MCPS. She teaches second grade, all subjects.
One of her favorite moments as a teacher is when, “students come back to see me. It’s very rewarding.”
Printed in the November 12, 2009 edition.