Banner Staff Writer
The Bradley County Schools system honored its teachers of the year prior to a regularly scheduled school board meeting Thursday.
Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel and other school system staff took the time to thank the teachers and presented certificates to the building-level teachers of the year, and trophies to the system-level teachers of the year.
Individual schools are asked to choose their teachers of the year, and the school system then names three system-level teachers of the year to represent all Bradley County schools — one from each grade-level grouping.
McDaniel said the teachers “make all the difference” in how students learn and strive to work toward future goals.
“I consider you to be among the best in the nation,” McDaniel said to the teachers. “I want to say thanks for all the good work that you do.”
The system-level teachers of the year are Debbie Shroyer of Taylor Elementary School, Jason Dehart of Ocoee Middle School and Cynthia Leslie of Bradley Central High School.
Leslie is also a regional finalist for the title of Tennessee Teacher of the Year.
The following teachers have been named this year’s building-level teachers of the year:
- Black Fox Elementary: Lee Ann Frazier and Janet Ownby;
- Bradley Central High: Betsy Gilbert;
- Charleston Elementary: Erica Shamblin and Laura Anziano;
- Hopewell Elementary: Chantel Harden and Suzi Swafford;
- Lake Forest Middle: Traci Branham and Sheryl Rollins;
- Michigan Avenue Elementary: Stephanie Jones and Rachel Miller;
- North Lee Elementary: Sherri Riggs and Chris Doan;
- Oak Grove Elementary: Abigail Duncan and Missy Chastain;
- Ocoee Middle: Stanley Green, Drew Ross and Judy Weir;
- Park View Elementary: Heather Hayes and Courtney Howell;
- Prospect Elementary: Jo Plemons and Jennie Davis;
- Taylor Elementary: Stephanie Rountree;
- Valley View Elementary: Amy Blackwell and Jane Rolison;
- Walker Valley High: Lisa Eulo and Alan Hunt; and
- Waterville Community Elementary: Teah Shope and Marybeth Hollomon.
While the school system did choose to honor the best few teachers, McDaniel said being named a teacher of the year was likely not the ultimate goal of most of them. He maintained the teachers were given the honors because they showed they cared about their students’ learning.
“I don’t think that you’re necessarily in competition with your colleagues ... you’re in competition with yourself to do better,” he said to them. “I want to tell you that you’re making a big difference in the lives of our children.”
Supervisor of Elementary Education Sheena Newman also thanked the teachers for their work and described them as “keepers of the future” because students are the future.
Bradley County Board of Education Chair Vicki Beaty said she appreciated the teachers and told the story of one student who was inspired to succeed because one teacher had encouraged her.
Other school board members said thank you and echoed the sentiment that local teachers have been having a positive impact on local students.
McDaniel said certificates and trophies could not adequately express his appreciation for what the teachers have done throughout the school year.
In addition to working directly with the students to help them learn, he praised the efforts of those who did things like apply for grants even when the school system did not have adequate funding for all the projects they wanted to do.