Organizers of the 19th annual Wilson County Teacher of the Year program announced the nominees for the 2016-17 Wilson County Teacher of the Year.
The overall winner will be honored and named at the annual Teacher of the Year banquet and ceremony April 7 in Baird Chapel on the campus of Cumberland University.
The Teacher of the Year program began nearly 20 years ago under the direction of W.P. Bone III, owner of Wilson County Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, and Bob McDonald, president of CedarStone Bank.
“This program supports education and educators in the communities we serve,” said Bone. “It is fitting that we recognize and congratulate those professionals to whom we entrust the futures of our children.”
Each of the 31 schools in Wilson County nominated and elected its own “teacher of the year” from its faculty; their peers chose the nominees. Those 31 teachers then complete self-evaluation packets, providing the information for the final judging. Past winners of the award meet with those nominees and go over the criteria processing materials, which have proven to be a great learning experience for all those involved, organizers said. An anonymous panel of Cumberland University faculty members then will select the Wilson County Teacher of the Year.
Those selected from across the county as “teachers of the year” in their respective school are Tabitha Bird with Byars-Dowdy Elementary School, Jennifer Barrett Jenkins with Carroll-Oakland Elementary School, Heather Campbell with Castle Heights Elementary School, Kristi Brooks with Cedars Preparatory Academy, Sandra L. Edwards with Coles Ferry Elementary School, Sheila Kay Mobley with Elzie D. Patton Elementary School, Toni Ross with Friendship Christian School, Melanie Williams with Gladeville Elementary School, Megan Hamilton with Lakeview Elementary School, Frankie Beth Dunklin with Lebanon High School, Jennifer M. Beavers with MAP Academy, Jon Willis with Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, Emily Partin with Mt. Juliet Elementary School, Amy Bowman with Mt. Juliet High School, Courtney Quisberg with Mt. Juliet Middle School, Lori Boykin with Rutland Elementary School, Stephanie Smith with Sam Houston Elementary School, Melissa Grandstaff with Southside Elementary School, Jessica Moses with Stoner Creek Elementary School, Carly M. Clinard with Tuckers Crossroads School, Rachel Walton with W.A. Wright Elementary School, Chuck Graviss with Walter J. Baird Middle School, Geoff Luckett with Watertown Elementary School, Matthew Hallmark with Watertown High School, Sara Warner with Watertown Middle School, Karissa Rogers with West Elementary School, Keith Heim with West Wilson Middle School, Kristi R. Dragan with Wilson Central High School, Patti Huffman with Wilson County Adult High School and Blake Lewis with Winfree Bryant Middle School.
Many people play a significant role in making the program successful, including members of local businesses and government, school principals, school administrators and the chambers of commerce from Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown.
Community leaders throughout the area are on hand during the awards banquet to show their support and gratitude.
“Some 20 years ago, my friend, W.P. Bone, and I sat down and decided we would make a concerted effort to recognize teachers in our county. The process took us about a year to complete and now, 19 years later, we are still proud of this program and the wonderful teachers it acknowledges as heroes and champions in the classroom,” said McDonald.
The winner will receive a $1,500, and their school will net another $500 for their efforts.