The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

December 16, 2012

County teachers of the year honored

— Sixteen teachers were honored at an awards banquet hosted by the Limestone County Board of Education Thursday evening at the Career Technical Center.

After a dinner catered by more than a dozen culinary students, Jan Tribble, secondary curriculum director, introduced each teacher. Superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk and Board Chairman Bret McGill presented a plaque to each honoree.

Members of the Central Office and school board members Anthony Hilliard and Earl Glaze also attended the ceremony.

Sisk said he appreciated the efforts by the teachers to connect with their students and ensure their well-being.

“I want to take advantage of this opportunity to thank you for the difference you make in their lives,” said Sisk in his closing remarks at the banquet. “One of the things I think we do very well in Limestone County is take care of our children.”

School standouts

Nine K-6 educators — Nancy Page, Michelle Mitchell, McKenzie Thomas, Marcy Hamilton, Jennifer Howard, Tara Tipper, Jennifer King, Lynn Hodges and Vicky Askew — were honored as their respective schools’ Teacher of the Year

Seven high school instructors — Starr Weems DeGraffenried, Angela Biggs, Brenda Pollock, Amy Swinea, Samantha Fleming, Melody Etheredge and Jordan Paul — were recognized as their respective schools’ Secondary Teacher of the Year

‘My sweet friends’

Page, who celebrated her 48th birthday Thursday, was named the county’s Elementary Teacher of the Year, which was announced by the 2011 winner, Elkmont third-grade teacher Cindy Wales.

Page, a graduate of the University of North Alabama and Athens State University, has taught for 25 years and is a fourth-grade teacher at Blue Springs Elementary School.

Her students are reminded to “stand tall and be proud” when they ask a question. Classmates are referred to as “buddies,” and her 20 students can transition from being excited and rambunctious to quiet and attentive with just a few words from Page, who regularly refers to her young pupils as “my sweet friends.”

A row of brightly decorated flashlights made with science kit wires and toilet paper tubes and turned on by a switch made of two thumbtacks and a paper clip rests on one desk, while a pile of blue bean bags for reading time are stacked near Page’s desk.

“She’s the most amazing teacher I’ve ever had, and she teaches you a lot,” said Miranda Turner, 9, one of Page’s fourth-graders. “We get to make ornaments, and we’ve been working on flashlights.”

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