UNION COUNTY — The Union County School District celebrated the arrival of the 2017-2018 school year with a “Back-to-School Celebration” that included recognizing the district’s 2017 Teachers of the Year.
The Back-to-School Celebration began Tuesday morning in the Sims Middle School gym where school officials and other personnel together with representatives of other local institutions gathered to help kick off the new school year. The opening ceremony was the beginning of a day of activities that included instructional sessions on Mathematics, English/Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and General educational issues.
During the opening ceremony, Union County School District Director of Personnel Jeff Stribble took to the stage to first, formally announce the 2017 Teachers of the Year for each of the district’s eight schools.
“The Buffalo Elementary School Teacher of the Year is Tammy Fisher,” Stribble said.
In announcing Fisher’s selection as Buffalo Elementary’s Teacher of the Year, Stribble quoted BES Principal Stacy McAbee who said:
Tammy Fisher is a tremendous asset to our faculty, staff, and students of Buffalo Elementary. She strives to impact students’ lives by making learning relevant not only to their own interests but to the ever-changing real world. Her work ethic, dedication and love for Buffalo are evident in everything she does.
Foster Park Elementary
“The Foster Park Elementary School Teacher of the Year is Sheila Bates,” Stribble said.
In announcing Bates’ selection as Foster Park Elementary’s Teacher of the Year, Stribble quoted FPES Principal Ott Sizemore who said:
Sheila Bates is a tireless worker for her children, colleagues and school. She is innovative, professional and positive in all situations.
“The Monarch Elementary School Teacher of the Year is Tonya Johnson,” Stribble said.
In announcing Johnson’s selection as Monarch Elementary’s Teacher of the Year, Stribble quoted MES Principal Mickey Connolly who said:
Mrs. Tonya Johnson is the kind of teacher every principal wants for his school. She is caring, knowlegeable, always willing to share, and most of all, she puts students first every day!
“The Jonesville Elementary/Middle School Teacher of the Year is Nicole Gardin,” Stribble said.
In announcing Gardin’s selection as Jonesville Elementary/Middle’s Teacher of the Year, Stribble quoted JEMS Principal Kathy Taylor who said:
Mrs. Nicole Gardin is on of those teachers who make learning fun! In her classroom, you can expect to see students engaged in hands-on activities, singing songs to help them remember important information, and utilizing technology to go beyond the classroom to experience places and content of what they are studying. JEMS is truly blessed to have Mrs. Gardin and proud to call her our Teacher of the Year!
“The Lockhart School Teacher of the Year is Shelly Vaughan,” Stribble said.
In announcing Vaughan’s selection Lockhart Schools’ Teacher of the Year, Stribble quoted Lockhart Schools Principal Jerry Wood who said:
“Shelly Vaughan is the current Teacher of the Year at Lockhart Elementary School. We are very fortunate to have her teaching our first graders. Mrs. Vaughan loves her children and the entire Lockhart community. Her passion and hard work allows her students to grow. She is a true professional!
Sims Middle School
“The Sims Middle School Teacher of the Year is Jennifer Deaton,” Stribble said.
In announcing Deaton’s selection as Teacher of the Year, Stribble quoted Sims Principal Eric Childers who said:
She is completely student centered. Her actions and attitude convey to every student in the class and her hall that she cares for them, that she has their best interest at heart, and that she genuinely desires for them to achieve their potential.
Career And Technology Center
“The Union County Career and Technology Center Teacher of the Year is Ashley Dill,” Stribble said.
In announcing Dill’s selection as Career and Technology Center Teacher of the Year, Stribble quoted UCHS Principal Dr. Shannon Gibson who said:
Mrs. Dill is dedicated to her students, and she often goes the extra mile to ensure they have their needs met. Mrs. Dill’s classes are among some of the most popular in the CATE center. She is the epitome of the district motto “students first.”
Union County High School
“The Union County High School Teacher of the Year is Ken Ellis,” Stribble said.
In announcing Ellis’ selection as UCHS Teacher of the Year, Stribble again quoted Dr. Gibson who said:
Ken is always willing to help others out. He has great rapport with the students. He goes above what is asked and seeks to make Union County High School better. He teaches in an interesting and engaging manner.
Stribble then called on all those present to “congratulate all these Teachers of the Year.”
District Teacher Of The Year
While the names of the Teachers of the Year for each of the county’s schools were included in the program for the celebration, the name of the 2017 District Teacher of the Year was not listed. Instead, it was stated that the identity of the District Teacher of the Year would be revealed during the celebration and that’s just what Stribble did.
“I would now like to announce the Union County School District Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018,” Stribble said. “Acording to her school colleagues, this teacher’s classroom is a busy place. The teacher really draws a crowd. This teacher stated that her greatest achievement is ‘the family I build with my students.’ She started her career in the 2003-2004 school year as a long-term substitute for Mrs. Mary Kohn. The 2017-2018 District Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Nicole Gardin from Jonesville Elementary/Middle School.”
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.