An educator from DeKalb County High School was named "DeKalb County Teacher of the Year" Thursday night during the fourth annual Teacher of the Year banquet at DCHS.
Jenny Norris received the honor and a check for $150 from Liberty State Bank, the sponsor of the banquet. The presentation was made by Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and Roy Nelson Pugh of Liberty State Bank.
Norris was among five local educators who were recognized during the banquet for being chosen by peers as "Teacher of the Year" at their schools. The others were Christina Ontiveros from Smithville Elementary School, Michelle Jones from DeKalb Middle School, Shelia McMillen from DeKalb West School, and Lisa Mabe from Northside Elementary School.
Three of the educators, earlier this year, were selected "Teachers of the Year" locally and competed for regional honors in the Tennessee Teacher of the Year Program.
Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for Pre-K through sixth grade, explained how the Teachers of the Year are selected. "Every year DeKalb County participates in the Tennessee Teacher of the Year program. Each school picks a Teacher of the Year from their school. That teacher is sent to the county level and we also participate in the regional by picking a teacher in Pre-K through 4th grade, a teacher in the 5th through 8th grade, and a 9th through 12th grade teacher. This year we sent nominations over (for regional competition) and we also sent the names of all five teachers of the year where a committee made up of several supervisors from the Upper Cumberland scored our county applicants based on the Rubric scoring guide," said Burklow. The overall Teacher of the Year from DeKalb County was chosen by this committee.
Norris teaches Biology at DCHS. Ontiveros is a Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Smithville Elementary. McMillen is a second grade teacher at DeKalb West. Jones teaches sixth grade language arts at DeKalb Middle School and Mabe is a second grade teacher at Northside Elementary School.
The guest speaker for the banquet was Herb Leftwich, Principal of Upperman High School. Others making remarks were Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, DeKalb County Board of Education Chairman Charles Robinson, first district school board member John David Foutch, and Roy N. Pugh of Liberty State Bank.
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The principals of each school introduced their teachers of the year. Mrs. Jones, the teacher of the year at DeKalb Middle School, was unable to attend the banquet.
(Top Photo left to right: Roy N. Pugh of Liberty State Bank, Jenny Norris of DCHS, and Director of Schools Mark Willoughby)
(Middle Photo left to right: Roy N. Pugh of Liberty State Bank, Jenny Norris of DCHS, Shelia McMillen of DeKalb West School, Christina Ontiveros of Smithville Elementary School, Lisa Mabe of Northside Elementary School, and Director of Schools Mark Willoughby) Not pictured- DeKalb Middle School Teacher of Year Michelle Jones)
(Bottom Photo- Herb Leftwich, Principal of Upperman High School, guest speaker at banquet)