Teachers of the Year

Staff Writer: Lola Canales

Teachers, we have many throughout the years. They put up with students constantly, whether it’s in their classes, in sports teams, or simply in the hallways. Every teacher deserves an award in itself just for dealing with that every single day. But every year, a single teacher stands out among all the others. They’re elected by their peers for the Teacher of the Year award. This special teacher gets recognized in many ways.

They get their name and picture put up on a plaque in the school rotunda. The principal, Mr. Smith, brings a bouquet of flowers to their classroom, they also get a special parking spot for the year, and get to attend a county-held dinner for all of the wonderful elected teachers. Some teachers also can have newspaper articles written about them, or recognition on a state level.

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Julie Crowe, Teacher of the year from 2016-2017

Julie Crowe is a physical education teacher at Woodstock High School. She said when she was elected it felt like, “an absolute honor,” to be placed among the most highly respected teachers at Woodstock over the last 20 years. I had asked what characteristics she thinks other teachers should have in order to be possibly elected in the future she told me, “teaching does not come with a packet of instructions. You must be selfless, compassionate, and know you are making a difference in the everyday lives of our future.” Coach Crowe also believes that the award does not make her more successful in her career, she simply believes it is just an honor to represent Physical Education by being chosen for the award.

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Loretta Cameron, Teacher of the year from 2015-2016

Mrs. Cameron says she was very surprised to be chosen and doesn’t know how faculty kept it a secret! When she was asked what she thinks other teachers should do in order to be chosen she says, “just be yourself, share your knowledge by teaching what you’re passionate about, inspire others to love what they are teaching about, always make improvements, and have fun teaching your subject.” She says she loved her parking spot for the year and her plaque in the rotunda of the school. She also got gifts from small businesses and recognition within the county. She says she’s always felt successful in her career and would not be teaching for 27 years if she felt otherwise. But Teacher Of The Year,  “confirms all my hard work,” she says.

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Laura Cox, Teacher of the year from 2014-2015

Mrs. Cox said it is an absolute honor to be recognized by her peers. When asked what she thinks other teachers should do in order to be chosen in the future she says, “be the teacher you would want your kids to have.” She says her favorite part of being elected is her parking spot for the year. I also asked

Mrs. Cox if she felt more successful in her career after being elected. “Actually yes,” she said. “This one award eluded me and I really wanted this recognition before I retired. I’ve been fortunate to receive other teaching awards from the students but it was especially meaningful to have the faculty vote for me.” At the end of the day she still believes this is a very special honor.

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Krista Webb, Teacher of the year from 2010-2011

Dr. Webb says she was very surprised, but also excited. She felt honored, “in a huge way.” Because there’s so many wonderful teachers at Woodstock High! She thinks in order for other teachers to  be elected they must be, “on their game everyday and all day, teaching and helping students learn.” She says they must hold a leadership position in the school and must be involved in many outside school activities. “A teacher of the year works 24/7 all year long!” She exclaims. Perks are attending the celebratory dinner held by the county, a wonderful parking spot, and some recognition throughout the metro area. She also says she feels more successful in her career, being recognized by her peers and collogues whom she tremendously respects. Mrs. Webb is no longer a teacher at Woodstock High School but is now an assistant principal at Creekview High, she still loves working with young people every day!

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Kelly Burke, Teacher of the year from 2009-2010

Mrs. Burke was, “pleasantly surprised,” when she discovered her collogues chose her for this very special award. She believes other teachers should work on having a real connection with their students, which is accomplished by spending time with students outside of school like at football games, chorus concerts, and math tournaments. She does not feel more successful in her career by getting the award, she says she, “measures her success by the success of her students.” The perk she most enjoyed was the county dinner, she also one Cherokee County teacher of the year and was proud to finish in the top ten of the state. “Be a Wolverine at all times!” She preaches.

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Danielle Cook, Teacher of the year from 2008-2009

Mrs. Cook had only been teaching 5 years when she was elected for teacher of the year, that’s why she viewed it as such an amazing honor. She says all teachers should set a high bar in the classroom and work on building real relationships with students and have motivation to help every day.  She now holds herself to a, “higher standard” after receiving the award, although the award does not make her feel more successful in her career.

Tricia Robinson, Teacher of the year from 1997-1998

Mrs. Robinson said she felt very honored to be elected. She says teaching is a very hard job to do and many amazing teachers never get recognized every year. She also says, “teachers need to keep doing their job whether they get recognized or not. The students will notice.” Mrs. Robinson says other than brief public recognition and the plaque then there are no advantages. As she puts it, “no trip to Disney,

no extra cash or time off.” Mrs. Robinson says she does not feel more successful in her career after being elected, she says she feels the most successful when old students come to her for tutoring in a new class, or students tell her where they’re going in life, like with a university or what job they’re working on getting. She also measures he success by students looking her in the eye and thanking her or with a well written note. It makes her, “realize I impact my students in a way I cannot fathom.”

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