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a Special Section of The Lebanon Democrat and Mt. Juliet News
Page 2 • Teacher of the Year 2014
Teacher of the Year 2014 • Page 3
By Jared Felkins
jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com
JJ & ZAK Chief Manager Danny Hill
used the floor to tell story after story of
“sitcoms” from his days as a teacher and
administrator at Mt. Juliet Middle
School.
“View each day as if it’s a sitcom, be-
cause it’s a sitcom,” Hill told the 28
teachers of the year, along with their
principals, family and friends, April 11 at
the Wilson County Teacher of the Year
Banquet at Cumberland University.
“Every day is a sitcom. The parents just
give you so much material. You need to
write this stuff down.”
But when he began to describe the 16
th
Wilson County Teacher of the Year, many
in the crowd began to get an idea just
who would receive the top prize. When
Hill stopped behind Lebanon High
School Career Technical Education grad-
uation coach Joe Murphy’s seat, all doubt
was removed.
An emotional Murphy said he was
“out of his comfort zone” when he ap-
proached the stage to accept his award,
along with $500 and another $1,500 for
his school.
“This is for the 1,027 kids who I’ve
had the unique position to work with,”
said Murphy, who worked in law en-
forcement for 22 years before becoming
a teacher. “Nobody can accomplish any-
thing without the people sitting in this
room. Graduation is one of the greatest
days each year.”
Murphy and the other 27 teachers of
the year were honored Friday night by
organizers Bob McDonald, president of
CedarStone Bank, and W.P. Bone III,
owner of Wilson County Chevrolet-
Buick-GMC.
“Good teachers, good bankers do not
let government interfere with how we in-
teract with our customers – my customers
and your customers,” McDonald said.
“We are recognizing you as champions
passionate about your customers.”
Bone was appreciative of those who
work behind the scenes each year to plan
and present the program.
“I want to thank these people who
help Bob and I put this on and allow us to
meet and have dinner with these teachers.
It’s an honor to be here with you.”
Along with Murphy, those selected
from across the county as “Teacher of the
Year” in their respective school are Anita
Gray from Byars-Dowdy Elementary
School, Mickie Stottlemire from Carroll-
Oakland Elementary School, Deborah G.
Howard from Castle Heights Elementary
School, Jamie Beaty from Coles Ferry
Elementary School, Mitzi Lundy from
Elzie D. Patton Elementary School, Cheri
Dykas from Friendship Christian School,
Debbie Yankura from Gladeville Elemen-
tary School, Katie Ingram from Lakeview
Elementary School, Shaun L. Caven from
MAP Academy, Eric Alspaugh from Mc-
Clain Christian Academy, Kathy Posey
from Mt. Juliet Christian Academy,
Mandy Lee from Mt. Juliet Elementary
School, Mary Kay Kelton from Mt. Juliet
High School, Tiffany McNeese, from Mt.
Juliet Middle School, Jessica Davis from
Rutland Elementary School, April Bur-
ress from Sam Houston Elementary
School, Lisa S. Baine from Southside El-
ementary School, Jennifer Moore Mar-
shall from Stoner Creek Elementary
School, Tara Mitchell, from Tuckers
Crossroads Elementary School, Danette
Henderson Baskin from W.A. Wright El-
ementary School, Angie Bruce from Wal-
ter J. Baird Middle School, Shannon
Queen from Watertown Elementary
School, Steven Howerton from Water-
town High School, Jennifer Terhune from
West Elementary School, Melissa Robin-
son from West Wilson Middle School,
MaryBeth Boswell from Wilson Central
High School and Melissa Reynolds from
Winfree Bryant Middle School.
Murphy named Wilson County’s top teacher
Jared Felkins • Lebanon Democrat
Lebanon High School teacher Joseph Murphy hugs his daughter-in-law, Jennifer
Murphy, after he is named Wilson County Teacher of the Year on April 11 during a
banquet to honor all the teachers of the year from each of the 28 schools in Wilson
County.
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L
O
G
O
N
T
ODAY
!
Teachers play an enormously important role.
They teach and inspire, guiding our kids toward
bright, successful futures. They act as educators
and role models, broadening minds and
encouraging achievement. We recognize
teachers for their dedication to helping our
children succeed.
Lebanon Special School District
“Committed to a Community of Excellence”
Congratulates
All Teachers
of
Wilson County
Page 4 • Teacher of the Year 2014
2013-2014 Wilson County Teacher of the Year Finalists
Anita Gray
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Byars-Dowdy Elementary School
Mickie Stottlemire
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Carroll-Oakland Elementary School
Principal: Lorie Blackburn
Anita teaches 3rd Grade Reading, Language Arts and Social Studies.
She has been teaching for 7 years and holds a Masters Degree in Advanced Studies of
Teaching and Learning in the Literacy Content Area.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"Whether through technology or professional development on common core, I am always
re-examining my teaching strategies and techniques. This change brings new energy to
my classroom that impacts my students, parents and peers."
Philosophy:
"Each year I am given a diverse classroom of different learning styles, social, cultural and
emotional differences, as well as academic strengths and weaknesses. My task is to turn
our classroom into a learning community, but most importantly a family."
Anita's assistant principal writes, "You will not find many people in the world like Anita.
She is one of the most genuine, caring, and selfless individuals I have ever met. She be-
gins every day with a huge smile and positive attitude. Her goal is to make every student
feel special and be successful."
Principal: Carol Ferrell
Mickie teaches 5th Grade Science.
She has been teaching for 16 years and has a Masters of Education.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"How do I help students learn? I show them that I love and care about them. I make my-
self available to them…I have found that one thing stays constant. That is that students
need to feel that their teachers care about them."
Philosophy:
"They don't care what you know, until they know that you care."”
"No matter if they become President or work as a cashier at Wal-Mart, if they are produc-
tive, happy and healthy and are pleased with their accomplishments, then I am proud to
have been part of their journey as a teacher."
–Mickie Stottlemire, Carroll-Oakland Elementary School
Deborah G. Howard
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Castle Heights Elementary School
Principal: Terry Trice
Deborah teaches 2nd grade.
She has been teaching for 27 years, all in Wilson County.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"Each hour of the day, I am not only the conductor, but I am also the tuner of children.
Just as in music, I listen and strive for the perfect learning notes and academic flow within
each lesson. I am the LID. I Love. I Inspire. I teach a child self-Discipline."
Philosophy:
"My belief that a teacher's firm positive connection with students is without a doubt, a
foundation on which their academic success is built, is my stance."
A former student, now in high school, wrote, "…Ms. Howard made each of us feel that we
had a special talent or gift, and that doing well in school included not only in academics,
but in respect for one another. Each of us thought we were 'the teacher's pet' because she
made each of us feel that good about ourselves."
Anita Gray, teacher of the year at Byars-Dowdy Elementary School, is pictured with
Principal Lorie Blackburn.
Mickie Stottlemire, teacher of the year at Carroll-Oakland Elementary School, is pic-
tured with past teacher of the year nominee Kerry Veurink.
Deborah G. Howard, teacher of the year at Castle Heights Elementary School, is pic-
tured with Principal Terry Trice.
Teacher of the Year 2014 • Page 5
2013-2014 Wilson County Teacher of the Year Finalists
Jamie Beaty
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Coles Ferry Elementary School
Mitzi Lundy
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Elzie D. Patton Elementary School
Principal: Brian Hutto
Jamie teaches 2nd grade.
She has been teaching 10 years.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"I strive each day to teach the 'whole child': academically, socially and emotionally. My
hope is to inspire life-long learners who care about others."
Philosophy:
"Growth involves change. If something is not working, we try something different. My
students and families deserve a teacher who will continue to grow and learn."
Jamie's principal writes, "One week prior to school starting I had a teacher leave second
grade…With very little time to interview, and knowing we needed a superstar to fill the po-
sition, I called Jamie…She handled the transition with professionalism and enthusiasm.
The use of the term 'impressive' is fitting due to the fact that Jamie didn't just move to sec-
ond grade, she has excelled as an educator."
Principal: Stan Moss
Mitzi teaches K-5 General Music
She has taught for 17 years.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"I guide students to sing, to read, to notate music, to improvise on mallet instruments, to
listen and analyze music of all genres, to understand music as it relates to history, and to
make connections between music and other subjects."
Philosophy:
"Every child is like a rosebud. Underneath all the unfurled petals is a beautiful flower.
There are riches there that will reveal themselves slowly as that child develops physically,
academically, emotionally and artistically."
"Some of my best moments as an educator are when I see a child take a chance and sing a
solo, lead a vocal warm-up, or take a speaking part in a play. It really is like watching a
flower bloom."
–Mitzi Lundy, Elzie D. Patton Elementary School
Cheri Dykas
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Friendship Christian School
Principal: Veronica Bender
Cheryl teaches 10th-12th Chemistry, Honors Chemistry I & II, A.P. Chemistry and
Honors Microbiology.
She has been teaching 15 years and holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"My ultimate desire is that students leave my class with the ability to reason and think
critically, not only in the field of chemistry, but in all aspects of their lives."
Philosophy:
"My basic goal in teaching chemistry is to help develop scientific thinking skills, by al-
lowing students to think more critically and creatively, actively progressing their knowl-
edge, while becoming more scientifically minded with the ability to carry any
investigation further."
"I think my biggest attribute in how students learn in my classroom lies in my enthusiasm
which is both unique and contagious to them. I am extremely passionate about my chosen
profession, both as an instructor and as a life-long learner."
–Cheri Dykas, Friendship Christian School
Jamie Beaty, teacher of the year at Coles Ferry Elementary School, is pictured with
Principal Brian Hutto.
Mitzi Lundy, teacher of the year at Elzie D. Patton Elementary School, is pictured with
Principal Stan Moss.
Cheri Dykas, teacher of the year at Friendship Christian School, is pictured with Prin-
cipal Veronica Bender.
Page 6 • Teacher of the Year 2014
2013-2014 Wilson County Teacher of the Year Finalists
Debbie Yankura
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Gladeville Elementary School
Katie Ingram
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Lakeview Elementary School
Principal: Monica Hopkins
Debbie teaches 5th Grade Science.
She has been teaching for 8 years.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
Teaching is more than test scores, pay and promotions. It is about loving children and en-
couraging them to be the very best they can be…in everything!
Philosophy:
"Finding new and exciting ways to make learning fun is paramount to me. I attend work-
shops that extend above and beyond my required hours to ensure my students get the most
out of every day."
"Each morning, I get to wake up, work with wonderful people, and experience the true
joy of being a part of the child's educational journey. What a privilege!"
–Debbie Yankura, Gladeville Elementary School
Principal: Tracey Burge
Katie teaches 3rd-5th CDC.
She has taught for 5 years.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"I take great pride in knowing my students inside and out. It is my mission each year to
get to know my parents on a personal level. After all, they trust me not only with their
child's education, but with their child's everyday wellbeing. Getting to know my students
and their parents is my greatest quality as a teacher."
Philosophy:
"My challenge each day is to remain consistent."
Her principal writes, "Many of her students not only experience academic difficulty, but a
majority of them face physical handicaps and health issues. Katie adjusts to the needs of
each child and works diligently to ensure that they have the best possible environment to
succeed to their fullest potential."
Joseph B. Murphy
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Lebanon High School
Principal: Myra Sloan
Joseph teaches 9th-12th grade as a Career Technical Graduation Coach & Mentor.
He has taught for 14 years and holds a Masters of Science degree.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"...I was asked to develop a mentoring program....The goal was to let every incoming at-
risk ninth grader know that from the minute they entered high school, there was someone
ready to help them become successful, regardless of their past or current situations that
had been influencing their young life toward failure."
Philosophy:
"All students have intrinsic value regardless of their status or position and possess a
unique ability to learn and succeed."
"…homelessness has continued to plague our society. It is not uncommon for me to take
them to Goodwill or the Community Help Center to find clothing to wear to school …
Something as simple as appropriate clothing, often means the difference between a student
staying in school versus running away."
–Joseph B. Murphy, Lebanon High School
.Debbie Yankura, teacher of the year at Gladeville Elementary School, is pictured with
Principal Monica Hopkins.
Katie Ingram, teacher of the year at Lakeview Elementary School, is pictured with Prin-
cipal Tracey Burge.
Joseph B. Murphy, teacher of the year at Lebanon High School, is pictured with Princi-
pal Myra Sloan.
Teacher of the Year 2014 • Page 7
2013-2014 Wilson County Teacher of the Year Finalists
Shaun L. Caven
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for MAP Academy
Eric Alspaugh
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for McClain Christian Academy
Principal: Rick Miller
Shaun teaches grades 6-12 in Special Education.
He has been teaching for 11 years, originally earning his degree and Masters of Arts in Ed-
ucation from Cumberland University
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"There are times when students just need to talk and have someone listen to them, then
there are times when they need advice and I am there to help. Sometimes they need some-
one to give them a kind word to build their self-esteem. Then there are times they need
tough love, discipline and structure to shape their life"
Philosophy:
"Rather than overload students, I strive to make sure they really learn one piece of infor-
mation daily, to ensure they understand and are retaining information."
"Each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmos-
phere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially. It
is my desire, as an educator, to help students by providing an environment that is safe, sup-
ports risk-taking, and invites the sharing of ideas."
–Shaun L. Caven, MAP Academy
Director: Joel Walsh
Eric teaches 6th-12th grade Math.
He has been teaching for 7 years and holds a Masters of Education degree.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"Teaching and guiding young people has always been in my heart."
Philosophy:
"If students see you care for them in and out of the classroom, a relationship forms that
leads to mutual respect and common goals."
"Recognition comes from students and parents saying I am making a difference, that I
make Math fun and understandable. This is my reward."
–Eric Alspaugh, McClain Christian Academy
Shaun L. Caven, teacher of the year at MAP Academy, is pictured with Principal Rick
Miller.
Eric Alspaugh, teacher of the year at McClain Christian Academy, is pictured with
Headmaster Joel Walsh.
Kathy Posey, teacher of the year at Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, is pictured with In-
terim Headmaster Mike Lee.
Kathy Posey
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Mt. Juliet Christian Academy
Principal: Mike Lee
Kathy teaches Kindergarten and 1st grade split class.
She has been teaching for 15 years and holds a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruc-
tion.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"...I want to teach the children how to be a productive citizen in their world. I believe that
we need to teach children the importance of how to give back to their church, school and
community."
Philosophy:
"I enjoy using technology in my classroom, but I also enjoy allowing the students the op-
portunity to use their hands for creating and learning. I believe it takes a balance of tech-
nology, pencil/paper and hands on activities to make a well-rounded child who has the
ability to succeed in society."
Kathy's principal says, "Developing a good rapport with students, parents and colleagues is
vital to creating a positive learning environment Kathy does this successfully year after year."
Page 8 • Teacher of the Year 2014
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Mandy Lee
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Mt. Juliet Elementary School
Principal: Sandra Grisham
Mandy teaches 1st grade.
She holds a Masters of Curriculum&Instruction and has taught the past 9 years of her teaching
career at Mt. Juliet Elementary.
Greatest Contribution andAccomplishment:
"In the past, my classes have had all day "reading days", laying on their beach towels, with a
pile of books sitting right bedside them. They put on their sunglasses as if they are sunbathing
and get lost in their pile of books."
Philosophy:
"It has always been my goal to ignite a passion in students in every subject, finding ways to keep
students motivated and interested in what they are learning, and demonstrating creativity in the
delivery of subject matter in every subject."
"If I find a new lesson activity or new approach to learning, I cannot ever keep it to myself. I am
always visiting peer teachers to share and discuss the ideas I have found…I always have ideas
to share and I am looking for ways to encourage others on my team and in my building."
–Mandy Lee, Mt. Juliet Elementary School
Mandy Lee, teacher of the year at Mt. Juliet Elementary School, is pictured with Princi-
pal Sandra Grisham.
2013-2014 Wilson County Teacher of the Year Finalists
Teacher of the Year 2014 • Page 9
2013-2014 Wilson County Teacher of the Year Finalists
Mary Kay Kelton
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Mt. Juliet High School
Tiffany McNeese
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Mt. Juliet Middle School
Principal: Mel Brown
Mary Kay teaches 9th-12th grade Spanish.
She has taught 9 years.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
A parent of a former student writes, " Ms. Kelton has been a great inspiration to our
daughter. My daughter's confidence flourished while taking Ms. Kelton's class. My child
describes Ms. Kelton as, 'always smiling and happy to be teaching us.' Ms. Kelton's posi-
tive and helpful attitude fosters student/teacher relationships that produce confident and
successful students."
Philosophy:
"I try to use…personalization and creativity in everything that I teach. Student interest is
usually directly proportional to student success."
Mary Kay's principal writes,"Ms.. Kelton has an exceptionally broad understanding of
and models effective teaching strategies every day."
Principal: Tim Bell
Tiffany teaches 6th grade Language Arts.
She has been teaching for 13 years and has a Masters of Arts in Education.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
“There are various roles that I have been given or have taken on…Whether it be taking on
the role as team leader, organizing and running school fundraisers, or leading a profes-
sional development session I feel I am always up for the task….I am not the one who sits
back and waits for things to get done."
Philosophy:
"Allowing my students to be creative and have choices has allowed them to become en-
gaged within their learning, which in turn leads to success."
"The passion, love, and dedication that I put forth as a teacher, is what I was born with.
It's who I am and what my heart desires."
–Tiffany McNeese, Mt. Juliet Middle School
Jessica Davis
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Rutland Elementary School
Principal: Cathy York
Jessica teaches 3rd grade.
She has been teaching 7 years and holds a Masters Degree from Cumberland University.
Greatest Contribution and
Accomplishment:
"I tell my students every day, 'There is power in struggle.' I want them to understand that
they can learn so much from their mistakes and persevering through challenging tasks."
Philosophy:
"My goal as a teacher is to help children grow academically, personally, and socially, as I
partner with their families and the community to produce lifelong learners."
Jessica's principal praises, "Jessica is a leader in our school and is always willing to try
new strategies. Many teachers have requested to observe in her classroom. When teach-
ers leave, they are abuzz with new strategies they want to try in their own classroom."
Mary Kay Kelton, teacher of the year at Mt. Juliet High School, is pictured with Princi-
pal Mel Brown.
Tiffany McNeese, teacher of the year at Mt. Juliet Middle School, is pictured with Prin-
cipal Tim Bell.
Jessica Davis, teacher of the year at Rutland Elementary School, is pictured with Prin-
cipal Cathy York.
Page 10 • Teacher of the Year 2014
2013-2014 Wilson County Teacher of the Year Finalists
April Burress
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Sam Houston Elementary School
Lisa S. Baines
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Southside Elementary School
Principal: Julie Beasley
April is a Guidance Counselor Pre-k to 5th grade.
She has been teaching for 7 years and holds a Masters of Education in Guidance and
Counseling.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
April's assistant principal writes, "The primary reason for the respect Mrs. Burress re-
ceives is due to the respect she models for students with the welcoming environment she
creates where students feel safe to express their feelings and opinions about the world
around them."
Philosophy:
"I feel very fortunate to be a school counselor where I can help students from all back-
grounds reach their highest potential in the classroom and beyond."
"Each day, some students attend school carrying unseen burdens that compromise their
ability to do their best in the classroom…I strive to help students emotionally so they are
ready to focus and do their best academically."
–April Burress, Sam Houston Elementary School
Principal: Richard Smallwood
Lisa teaches 2nd grade.
She has been teaching 19 1/2 years and holds a Masters of Education in Administration
and Supervision.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"That ‘knowledge is power’ becomes evident when students take active leadership in pro-
tecting our environment, to teach their families and apply it to their homes."
Philosophy:
"My role is to provide a high quality education in a loving and nurturing environment
where students can grow and learn based on the way they learn best."
A friend writes of Lisa, "Lisa teaches with a heart and style that that makes her students
eager to learn. When you walk into her classroom, you smile because it is inviting, happy,
organized, warm and the environment shows a positive, wonderful balance."
Jennifer Moore Marshall
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Stoner Creek Elementary School
Principal: Christine Miller
Jennifer teaches Kindergarten.
She has been teaching 15 years and holds a Masters of Science in Reading.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"My students have stuffed goody bags and made art projects for local senior citizens, do-
nated stuffed animals for the police department, and made cards for veterans and soldiers.
My students understand they are part of a community in which they play a contributing
role."
Philosophy:
"Teachers have the opportunity to impact the lives of everyone they encounter. I have em-
braced that role since the beginning of my career and strive each day to be the best role
model I can be for my colleagues, my students and their families."
Parents of a former students write, "Ms. Marshall engages students in deep, meaningful
ways, making learning relevant. We are thankful to have had her in our sons' lives. Her
integrity, positive influence, and motivational skills have made a great impression on us as
parents, and on our two children."
April Burress, teacher of the year at Sam Houston Elementary School, is pictured with
Principal Julie Beasley.
Lisa S. Baines, teacher of the year at Southside Elementary School, is pictured with As-
sistant Principal Clint Dennison.
Jennifer Moore Marshall, teacher of the year at Stoner Creek Elementary School, is
pictured with Principal Christine Miller.
Teacher of the Year 2014 • Page 11
2013-2014 Wilson County Teacher of the Year Finalists
Tara Mitchell
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Tuckers Crossroads Elementary School
Danette Henderson Baskin
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for W.A. Wright Elementary School
Principal: Susie Breedwell
Tara teaches 3rd grade.
She has been teaching 13 years.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"The part of my job that is the most fun is finding ways to make learning relevant, engag-
ing and memorable. I have learned over the years that students learn best when they are
not just a captive audience, but active participants."
Philosophy:
"Teachers have to be creative when facilitating student learning and in the teaching strate-
gies they use every day."
Tara's principal writes, "Tara's forté is making learning relevant for the students. She
very easily moves through disciplines when teaching a subject, touching on all pertinent
topics that would grab her students."
Principal: Jill Giles
Danette is a 2nd grade teacher.
She has been teaching for 15 years.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
“I relish in my student's happiness, cry with their sadness, and carry the burden and
heartache of those who are hurting from unstable homes, disabilities, or lack of love and
happiness. For these reasons, I am happily in my 15th year of education."
Philosophy:
"Every student, not matter what background or level, or competency, will be afforded the
opportunity to learn in my classroom."
" 'Holding the rope' has nothing to do with academics. I used it as a metaphor to show
them to strive forward with their fullest potentials and make good choices. I always told
my students if they were hanging from a cliff…and the only thing between them falling and
a piece of rope and a friend they chose, who would that friend be? If their chosen person
would have rope burns, and still not let them go, then they picked the right friend."
–Danette Henderson Baskin, W.A. Wright Elementary School
Angie Bruce
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Walter J. Baird Middle School
Principal: Pam Sampson
Angie teaches 6th grade Math.
She has been teaching 9 years.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
Referencing a former field trip, "It was not only a great opportunity for students but for
parents and community members to understand the direction education is headed."
Philosophy:
"In the classroom I exhibit many of the same expectations as I do in coaching. Hard work,
an environment that we all respect each other, and perseverance in getting the job done,
whatever the job."
"I believe strongly that being a mentor to young students and making them believe in
themselves and their abilities is key to their success!"
–Angie Bruce, Walter J. Baird Middle School
Tara Mitchell, teacher of the year at Tuckers Crossroads Elementary School, is pictured
with Principal Susie Breedwell.
Danette Henderson Baskin, teacher of the year at W.A. Wright Elementary School, is
pictured with Principal Jill Giles.
Angie Bruce, teacher of the year at Walter J. Baird Middle School, is pictured with
Principal Pam Sampson.
Page 12 • Teacher of the Year 2014
2013-2014 Wilson County Teacher of the Year Finalists
Shannon Queen
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Watertown Elementary School
Steven Howerton
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Watertown High School
Principal: Anita Christian
Shannon teaches 8th grade American History.
She has been teaching for 6 years.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"Middle school students can be tough customers and let's be honest, history textbooks are
not on anyone's list of recommended reading. That's where creativity comes to play…We
sing The Bill of Rights to the tune of 12 Days of Christmas and to get them to buy in, I
display brain scans that show how music triggers memory...Creativity is the cure for bor-
ing."
Philosophy:
"I take it as a personal challenge to change students' attitudes toward history...Developing
a personal connection is the key to getting students interested."
Shannon's assistant principal praises her, writing, "Shannon has a sterling reputation
among our teachers and staff, many of whom frequently comment on her positive contri-
bution to student learning. She willingly pitches in when asked to help and regularly goes
above and beyond our expectations."
Principal: Jeff Luttrell
Steven teaches 9th-12th grade Agriculture.
He has been teaching for 11 years and holds a Masters of Science.
Greatest Contribution andAccomplishment:
"My students have fully restored at least 15 tractors and built 25 trailers, among completion of
various other in-school and on-site mechanical projects ... Skills used in these projects have suc-
cessfully allowed my students to establish careers as masons, electricians, mechanics, repair
men, plumbers, welders, farmers, framers and general construction workers."
Philosophy:
"I teach not for the pay or the hardships, but because I amgiven the chance to change lives for
the good, to educate and elevate the minds and hearts of my students, and to show themsuccess
comes in all shapes and sizes – both in the classroomand in the community."
Steven's principal writes, "Steve's positive attitude, enthusiasm and passion for teaching his stu-
dents are reflected on a daily basis…His flexibility in working with students, parents, teachers
and administration has earned him an enviable reputation as an excellent teacher who truly
cares about people. Steve gives generously of his valuable time and often works hours beyond
the school day."
Jennifer Terhune
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for West Elementary School
Principal: Becky Siever
Jennifer teaches K-5 Music.
She has been teaching 23 years.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"A parent told me that she heard her daughter singing one of our science songs in the
bathroom. When she asked her about it, her daughter said the song, "was stuck in her
head." Good, that was exactly what I was aiming for!"
Philosophy:
"I want my students to be able to comprehend music as an art form and as a method of
communication. I want them to be passionate about music for the rest of their lives. Their
future is in my hands."
"Over the past several years , I have been focused on integrating my music standards as
much as possible across the curriculum. Many of my fellow music teachers disagree with
my philosophy which has my students singing science songs and doing raps about geomet-
ric shapes."
–Jennifer Terhune, West Elementary School
Shannon Queen, teacher of the year at Watertown Elementary School, is pictured with
Assistant Principal Michael Pigg.
Steven Howerton, teacher of the year at Watertown High School, is pictured with Princi-
pal Jeff Luttrell.
Jennifer Terhune, teacher of the year at West Elementary School, is pictured with Prin-
cipal Becky Siever.
Teacher of the Year 2014 • Page 13
Melissa Robinson
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for West Wilson Middle School
MaryBeth Boswell
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Wilson Central High School
Principal: Wendell Marlowe
Melissa teaches grades 6-8 Library as a Media Specialist.
She has been teaching 16 years with a Masters of Administration in Library Science.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"The students here matter to me, and not for their scores or standardized tests. I want
them to be successful people long after they have left middle school, and I know this is
often where those habits of success are built."
Philosophy:
"I have found that the key to student success is not found in the brain, but in the heart."
"I am a proud product of the world-class education that Wilson County offers, and there-
fore it means the world to have the opportunity to influence the current students."
–Melissa Robinson, West Wilson Middle School
Principal: Pat Suddarth
MaryBeth teaches 9th-12th grade Biology.
She has been teaching for 6 years and holds a Masters of Arts in Education degree.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"My students know when they walk in my room each day they will learn something new,
they will be challenged, and that I care about the type of day that they have had. I love my
students more than they will ever know…"
Philosophy:
"My goal each semester is to push students beyond what they thought they could achieve
and to see that they can achieve more."
MaryBeth's student Chelsea writes, "You may have heard, in former years, that teachers
have helped to ignite the flame that students need more than anything to prosper. This is
true of many teachers, however, Ms. Boswell has helped dozens of students ignite their
flames and fan them throughout their four years at Wilson Central High School."
Melissa Reynolds
Teacher of the Year 2013-2014 for Winfree Bryant Middle School
Principal: Becky Kegley
Melissa teaches 7th grade Science.
She has been teaching 12 years.
Greatest Contribution and Accomplishment:
"Often, middle school students walk into a classroom jaded by past experiences, insecuri-
ties, and perhaps even failures in school. My goal is to rekindle that level of curiosity we
all experience in childhood."
Philosophy:
"In order to connect with and teach the ever-changing middle school child, I must be will-
ing to invest, engage, reflect and adapt. Lessons must be creative, unexpected, hands-on,
implement real-life applications, not to mention exciting and energetic. Teaching is more
than communicating standards and checking off a 'to-do' list."
"At the heart of all I do is one intent: I desire to open student's minds to the love of learn-
ing as I share my passion for science."
–Melissa Reynolds, Winfree Bryant Middle School
Melissa Robinson, teacher of the year at West Wilson Middle School, is pictured with
Principal Wendell Marlowe.
Marybeth Boswell, teacher of the year at Wilson Central High School, is pictured with
Assistant Principal Carmen Valkyrie.
Melissa Reynolds, teacher of the year at Winfree Bryant Middle School, is pictured with
Principal Becky Kegley.
2013-2014 Wilson County Teacher of the Year Finalists
Page 14 • Teacher of the Year 2014
A great time was had by all!
better
education
Simply
Congratulations to Joseph B. Murphy,
Career Technical Graduation Coach/
Mentor at Lebanon High School for being
selected as the 201314Wilson County
Teacher of theYear.
Presenting the award is CedarStone Bank
President Bob McDonald (far left) andW.P.
Bone, III (far right) of Wilson County
Motors.
There is no more important job than the education of our children; our future depends on it. That’s
why we are proud to sponsor theWilson CountyTeacher of theYear celebration each year. For 16
years we have honored outstanding educators inWilson County and we salute the 28 candidates for
the 201314 school year. We congratulate you all!
2014
Teacher of the Year 2014 • Page 15
Page 16 • Teacher of the Year 2014