These are a few of the distinct qualities that separate “good” from “great” in the education profession.
These are the instructors who make a difference day after day in the lives of their impressionable pupils.
These are the mentors whose role-model ways go far beyond teaching the printed word; they also instill in their students an understanding of why an academic education is important for today, tomorrow and well into the distant future.
These are the teachers whose best practices are being sought for the annual Lillie F. Fitzgerald Excellence in Teaching Award, an honor presented to the Cleveland City School System or Bradley County School System instructor who exemplifies the inspiring traits of the late Mrs. Fitzgerald who raised the bar on public education at Bradley Central High School for 37 years.
Mrs. Fitzgerald was an impassioned and dedicated English and speech instructor whose own love of teaching transcended into a love of learning in her students.
Those who knew this blessing to education recognized the public educator as one who challenged the mind, explored the heart and massaged the imagination while exceeding all expectations of students, parents and supervisors alike in her quest to bring out the best in her young apprentices.
She is remembered for prizing academic performance, recognizing students, and establishing clubs and programs which further prepared them for college careers and the teaching profession. In a befitting action of one whose convictions stood the test of time, Mrs. Fitzgerald was inducted into the Teachers Hall of Fame in 1995. It is appropriate her nomination came from former students.
And now, Dr. and Mrs. Rodney Fitzgerald — her loving son and daughter-in-law — are seeking nominations for the 2012 Excellence in Teaching Award through the Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Foundation. Nominations may be made by peers, students, friends or family members. The honor is valued most for its prestige, but also carries a $3,000 cash award.
Nominations will be accepted through March 30. Nomination packets should be mailed to Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Foundation, P.O. Box 4354, Cleveland, TN 37320, or delivered to the organization’s office at the STaR Center, 5005 North Lee Highway.
All submissions are reviewed by a panel of evaluators unrelated to either local school system.
Additional information about the award may be found on the Foundation’s website at www.bcpef.org.
Teachers qualified for such a nomination include: Employed as a full-time, certified, K-12 teacher in the city or county school systems and have a minimum of five years’ experience; demonstrate a passion for teaching and inspiring students with a love of learning; communicate effectively across all racial, cultural and economic backgrounds; utilize creative, current and relevant teaching strategies; admired and respected by students, parents and colleagues; personally involved in the community; and embodies the spirit of teaching as demonstrated by the award’s namesake — professional, articulate and passionate about education.
We urge the community’s nominations in support of a valued resource with whom we have entrusted the future of our children.