"Teachers of the Year" Named at Each School

February 1, 2011
by: 
Dwayne Page
Christina Ontiveros
Lisa Mabe
Shelia McMillen
Michelle Jones
Jenny Norris

The DeKalb County School System has announced it's "Teachers of the Year" at each of the five schools in the county.

This year's honoree are Christina Ontiveros, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Smithville Elementary School; Lisa Mabe, a second grade teacher at Northside Elementary School; Michelle Jones, a sixth grade teacher at DeKalb Middle School; Shelia McMillen, a second grade teacher at DeKalb West School; and Jenny Norris, a teacher at DeKalb County High School.

Three of these five teachers will soon be selected at the system-wide level to compete for regional honors in the Tennessee Teacher of the Year Program.

Michelle Burklow, Supervisor of Instruction for grades Pre-K to 6 said "Again this year, we're going to participate in the Teacher of the Year program, which begins on the school level, moves to the system level, the regional level, and finally to the state level.

"In pre-kindergarten through fourth grade, Teachers of the year are Lisa Mabe from Northside Elementary, Christina Ontiveros from Smithville Elementary, and Shelia McMillen from DeKalb West School. One of them will be selected to represent DeKalb County at the regional level.

"In grades 5 through 8, the teacher of the year is Michelle Jones from DeKalb Middle School and she will represent DeKalb County at the regional level."

"In the 9th through 12th grade, which is DeKalb County High School, Jenny Norris is the Teacher of the Year and she will represent DeKalb County at the regional competition.

Should these teachers win at the regional, they will represent DeKalb County at the state level in March.

The Tennessee Teacher of the Year Program is designed to promote recognition, respect and appreciation for teachers; to stimulate interest in teaching as a career; and to encourage public involvement in education.

This program is sponsored annually by the Tennessee Department of Education and the Niswonger Foundation.

The Tennessee Teacher of the Year represents Tennessee at the National Teacher of the Year competition, which is sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers and Scholastic, Inc.

Teachers of the Year are selected competitively through five cycles: Building, System, Field Service Center Region, Grand Division and State; and from three categories (levels of teaching); Grades Pre K-4, 5-8, 9-12.

Teachers selected at each cycle receive local recognition and awards underwritten by local sources. State recognition/awards include a banquet honoring the nine State Teacher of the Year finalists and certificates of appreciation from the Governor. In addition, the State Finalists and the State Teacher of the Year receive cash awards from the Niswonger Foundation.

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