Hamblen County names 2012-2013 teachers of the Year
School-level Teachers of the Year were recently selected in Hamblen County.
From this list of educators, three will be chosen to represent Hamblen County Schools in the district competition.
At the district level, a committee from Blount County Schools will chose winners in each of the three categories: Pre-kindergarten through fourth grade, fifth through eighth grade, and ninth through twelfth grade.
Pre-kindergarten through fourth grade winners:
Karen McPherson, a third grade math teacher, is Alpha Elementary’s Teacher of the Year. She has been an educator for 26 years.
She earned an Education Specialist degree in administration and supervision from East Tennessee State University, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Carson-Newman College and an associate degree from Walters State Community College.
During her tenure at Alpha, McPherson has taught first, second and third grades. Previously, she taught at Lincoln Heights Elementary and West Elementary.
McPherson has presented Common Core learning centers, new science curriculum and science curriculum for first and second graders during Hamblen County Schools’ county-wide inservice, as well as Common Core for math for the Alpha faculty.
She has served as a literacy leader at Alpha, a Keep America Beautiful representative and a principal designee.
Her professional memberships include the national, Tennessee and Hamblen County education associations. In the Hamblen County Education Association, she serves as the grievance representative for Alpha.
She is a former member of the Lakeway Reading Council, the International Reading Council and the Association of Supervision and Curriculum.
“Being involved with the community is an important part of being an educator,” McPherson said. “I have always felt that children learn from example, and that is a vital part of my job.”
She’s involved in her church, where she has served as pianist and organist since she was 12 years old. She is the devotion leader of the Willing Workers and organized a fall fellowship with another church. She is currently working on the spring fellowship.
Through her involvement in music ministry she has traveled and sang in many cities and states since 1993.
Since 2009, participated in concerts raising money for ALPS. She’s also written several songs that have been recorded and published. She is an annual speaker at a ladies conference.
Shannon Mayes, a kindergarten teacher who has been an educator for 14 years, is Fairview-Marguerite’s Teacher of the Year.
Mayes earned a Education Specialist degree in curriculum and instruction from Lincoln Memorial University, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Tusculum College and a bachelor’s degree from Tusculum. She also studied at WSCC.
Fairview’s grade level chairperson, she is a supervising teacher for practicum students, a mentor teacher and a student teacher supervisor.
Mayes serves on the school’s improvement committee, the leadership committee and is a thoughtful classroom representative.
Mayes’s class is a three-time winner of the Director’s Writing Contest for best classroom book.
She has presented sessions for 30-Minute Thursdays on topics including “fun foldables” and writing activities. She models lessons for educators during best practices and walks-through.
“I feel community involvement is an essential component of any successful school. It is as important as instruction, assessment and other school activities.” Mayes said. “Years of research have shown that good relationships among schools, families and communities help to maximize students’ chances of success. As an educator, I feel it is very important for me to be a role model for my students.”
She volunteers with McTeacher Night, Daily Bread, Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, Christmas Shoe Box and the American Cancer Society.
“Community involvement carries over into the classroom as students learn the importance of working together to solve problems and work collaboratively,” she said. “Teaching these lessons very early in a child’s education will carry over throughout their lives. It will help them succeed in school and also become a vital part of the greater community.”
Michelle Green, a fourth grade language arts teacher, is Hillcrest Elementary’s Teacher of the Year.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Tusculum and studied at WSCC. She is highly qualified in kindergarten through sixth grade education.
Green has been the recipient of Office Max’s “A Day Made Better,” which recognizes dedication and passion in educators.
She serves as her school’s lead mentor teacher and conducted training for her faculty for “Using Data to Drive Instruction,” and was discussion leader for “Pathways for the Common Core.” She led the session, “What Can I Do With All This Data” at the East Tennessee Title I Conference.
Her commitment to the Morristown community is expressed through her co-founding and 12 years of volunteer work as administrative director of Children of Hope, a non-profit community outreach to local children and youth in need.
In 2001, she said, she felt the need to help her community’s at-risk children in poverty-stricken areas.
“With much prayer and faith, my partner and I stepped out to show love and compassion to these children and youth,” she said. “Through our programs, we provide for their spiritual, physical, emotional and educational needs. We celebrate their success in becoming well-educated citizens of our community with morals and values.”
Presently, she oversees 35 volunteers and serves more than 100 children and youth.
Regena Moore, a librarian, is John Hay Elementary’s Teacher of the Year. Moore has been an educator for 36 years, 26 of which she’s served in her present position.
She has a bachelor’s degree in English and library science from ETSU, with 30 additional graduate hours from the University of Tennessee and Cumberland University.
She also studied at WSCC.
Before joining the John Hay faculty, Moore was a library media specialist in Jonesboro and in Jefferson County Schools.
She is also a member of the Tennessee Association of School Librarians.
She received a $4,000 Food Lion Grant to purchase library books.
Her extensive professional development activities include a “What’s New in Children’s Literature” workshop, the Early Childhood Conference, “Reading Beyond the Text,” “Daily Five Strategies for Literacy,” language arts in the Common Core, Niswonger Foundation Education Symposium, “Small Group Reading Instruction,” “So That’s What They Mean by Rigor” and “Increasing the Effectiveness of Your School Library Program.”
A member of First Baptist Church, she is an active member of Dale Schneitman’s Sunday school class. Through the class, she volunteers with Operation Christmas Child.
She works in the nursery, Vacation Bible School and participates in women’s Bible study.
She also supports the Daily Bread Community Kitchen, Central Services, United Way, and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Christine Redding, a kindergarten teacher at Lincoln Heights Elementary, is her school’s Teacher of the Year.
An educator for eight years, she holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Catawba College in North Carolina and has additional hours from the UT.
Redding’s extensive, continuing education includes Common Core learning centers, SmartBoard and iPad tech training and “Rigor in the Classroom.”
Redding participated in the Bureau of Education and Research: “Using the RTI Model for Disruptive and Difficult Student Behaviors.”
Her book studies include “Teaching Literacy Through the Arts,” “Weaving Through the Words,” “Using the Arts to Teach Reading Comprehension Strategies,” “Book Whisperer,” and “Explicit Direct Instruction.”
In 2007, Redding initiated and helped orchestrate a school program in tribute for retiring Louisiana Rep. Henry Powell, who co-sponsored the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students that enables students who meet academic requirement to receive money for college tuition.
She is recipient of the WVLT-TV/Children’s Hospital and Shoney’s Golden Apple Award.
Redding taught the deaf Sunday school class and interpreted the services in sign language at First Baptist Church in Morristown. She also interprets for area hospitals and doctors.
“My greatest community contribution has been helping to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Redding said. “I agree with the great educator/preacher, William Lyon Phelps, when he wrote, ‘Everyone who has a thorough knowledge of the Bible may truly be called educated … I believe knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without a Bible.’”
She is a member of the Lakeway Reading Council and a former member of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.
Olivia McGlothin, an educator for 14 years, is a fourth grade teacher at Russellville Elementary, where she is Teacher of the Year.
Beginning her training at WSCC, McGlothin earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from ETSU and an master’s degree in elementary education, reading and literacy from Walden University.
She has held memberships in the national, Tennessee and Hamblen County education associations.
A member of the fourth grade team that earned Hamblen County’s Highest Achievement in Reading and Language, her class has won the Director’s Writing Contest, earning both first and third place awards.
As Keep America Beautiful school representative, she won the KAB/Eastman University of Tennessee Recycling Award.
A grade level chair for multiple years and chair of the school improvement leadership team, McGlothin also serves as the school’s crisis management team member, member of the reading textbook adoption committee and she was cheerleading sponsor for five years.
She volunteers her time as a before and after school tutor.
Her professional development leadership activities include total quality management (root cause analysis), the school health management team, thoughtful classroom team member, data team member and response to intervention team member.
McGlothin serves as a mentor to new teachers, student teachers and practicum teachers.
As leader of the school’s 4-H activities, McGlothin supports the Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society and the Daily Bread Community Kitchen.
She also supports Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots, United Way of Hamblen County and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital
McGlothin is actively involved in Arrowhead Church, where she participates in weekly small-group study and works with the community outreach program at the Helen Ross McNabb Center.
Tina Ridley, a fourth grade teacher at Union Heights Elementary, is her school’s Teacher of the Year.
A graduate of WSCC, she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from ETSU.
Currently teaching fourth grade math and social studies, Ridley previously taught fifth grade reading, math, science and social students at Union Heights and was an interim third grade teacher at Russellville Elementary.
At Union Heights, she’s spelling bee coordinator, leader of the healthy schools team, member of the data team, grade level 4-H leader and organizer and a member and facilitator of the school-wide professional learning club.
Ridley was recipient of the 2012 Hamblen County Highest Achievement in Fourth Grade Math, Highest Value Added Math, Value Added Social Studies, and the 2011 Hamblen County Highest Achievement in Math and Highest Value Added in Math.
She earned a principal evaluation score of five, but said, “My most exiting recognition has to be the faces of my students each day. The smiles on their faces, their sweet words and their willingness to go above and beyond for me as their teacher is the most rewarding experience of all.”
Additionally, Ridley is the IXL Math website contact person, has collaborative planning with other teaching professionals and has participated in the standards-based grading book study, “Ahead of the Curve.”
Crystal Vaughn, fourth grade teacher for the past nine years, is West Elementary’s Teacher of the Year.
She earned her Education Specialist degree in administration from LMU, her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in education from Tusculum and an associate’s degree from WSCC.
Vaughn has been the team leader of the fourth grade team at West Elementary since 2005.
“It’s my job to support teachers in their growth of content knowledge, pacing of standards, and data interpretation and planning according to the data,” she explained.
As a member of the school’s data team, Vaughn analyzes and interprets data from various assessments.
With this information, she conceives a growth plan for fourth grade and assists with a progression plan for the entire school.
Vaughn is science fair coordinator, scholar bowl coach, assists with coaching West Elementary’s girls basketball team and has been cheerleading sponsor.
She hosts student teachers and practicum teachers.
Vaughn teaches the school’s inclusion writing class, and her students have earned first place in the Director’s Writing Contest.
She is recipient of the Cherokee Health Systems Special Education Award.
Vaughn is the Tennessee Education Association’s legislative contact team member and served the Hamblen County Education Association as RA leader and bargaining team member.
She and her students support non-profit organizations including the Daily Bread Community Kitchen, the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure and the Morristown-Hamblen Humane Society.
Mary Ellen Shaver, a first grade teacher, is Whitesburg Elementary’s Teacher of the Year.
Shaver’s teaching career spans 34 years, 11 of which have been served in her present position.
This is her second honor as Whitesburg’s Teacher of the Year, having been previously named in 2006.
She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree, both in elementary education, from UT.
She earned 45 additional hours from Cumberland University
Before joining the Whitesburg faculty in 2007, Shaver taught at Union Heights Elementary, with Adult Education and at two schools in Cocke County.
She is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a professional honorary society of women educators.
Shaver’s leadership activities include local and state textbook adoption committees, development of the Hamblen County curriculum map and working on the revision of the Common Core curriculum for Hamblen County.
She presented at the County-wide Math Boot Camp, new standards, Marcia Tate Practices and Common Core.
She is community liaison for School Rewards program, Box Tops for Education and Coke Rewards. She tutors adult students for GED and children for remediation.
Shaver works with a family outreach program through Baptist ministry, sponsors a scholarship in Belize and – with three partners – helped to fund a house for a family in Belize.
Heather Godwin, a first grade teacher, is Witt Elementary’s Teacher of the Year.
She began her education at WSCC and Pellissippi State Technical College.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Tennessee Technology Center and is highly qualified in kindergarten through eighth grade education.
Before joining the Witt Elementary faculty, Godwin taught second grade at West Elementary.
At Witt, she is grade level chairperson, does before and after school tutoring and is a member of the school’s data team and the Title I committee.
She has served on the literacy committee, school improvement committee, math committee and is cheerleading sponsor.
Godwin was presented sessions on small group instruction and on learning stations for Hamblen County teachers and she facilitates professional learning clubs for Hamblen County Schools. She has also trained in Common Core math.
Godwin’s extensive professional development includes Common Core math, “Pathways to Common Core,” PlanbookEdu.com, “Teach Like a Champion,” and Dr. Beverly Tyner’s “Differentiated Instruction and Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites.”
She is a new teacher mentor and guides practicum students.
Godwin’s students took honors in the Directors Writing Contest and Ladies Reading Circle Poetry Contest.
A member of the Tennessee and Hamblen County education associations, she has served on the Lakeway Reading Council and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa.
Godwin works with her church, New Era Baptist, were she is Sunday school teacher and has worked as VBS director and teacher.
She is involved with United Way, the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, Keep America Beautiful, Hope Lodge, Toys for Tots and Coats for the Cold.
“A better person does not evolve simply from a list of activities done,” she said, “but from the activities that sparked emotion and compassion from within oneself. I am blessed and hope that others are blessed because of my dedication to the communities I serve.”
Fifth grade through eighth grade:
Don Fickle, a 24-year educator, is East Ridge Middle School’s Teacher of the Year.
Fickle currently teaches math, and has taught science, physical education and reading during his tenure.
He earned his Education Specialist degree in administration and supervision from LMU, his master’s degree in elementary education and his bachelor’s degree in education from ETSU.
He is a member of the national, Tennessee and Hamblen County education associations.
Fickle is a mentor teacher for student teachers, a member of the textbook committee for math book adoption, and he presented an inservice on bullying to school faculty after attending a workshop on the issue.
Fickle has served as a football coach for 15 years, a basketball and track coach for 23 years and Junior Beta Club sponsor for 12 years.
Pamela Hill, a sixth grade math teacher, is Lincoln Heights Middle’s Teacher of the Year. She has been an educator for 16 years.
She has an Education Specialist degree and a master’s degree in professional administration from LMU, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UT and an associate’s degree from WSCC.
Hill is a member of the school’s leadership team, a teacher mentor and a student teacher supervisor.
She works with future educators from Morristown West High School.
At Lincoln, she implemented a new program for extended skills classes
She has earned a Tennessee Value Added Assessment System teacher effectiveness score of five for three years and, while teaching math, her students’ Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program scores saw a gain of 7.4, greater than the state’s average of 4.9.
She is been a member of the national, Tennessee and Sevier County education associations.
Hill has served as a member of the Junior Reading League on a committee appointed to select applicants who were awarded college scholarships.
She chaperoned a group of 130 foreign exchange students, sponsored by the Rotary Club, on a two-week bus trip to California. She also chaperoned Junior Beta Club students to the state Junior Beta Convention and eighth graders to Washington, D.C.
Amy Mitchell, who has taught fifth grade for three years, is Manley Elementary’s Teacher of the Year.
Before joining the Manley faculty, she taught at West View Middle School and Hillcrest Elementary.
She holds an master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Tusculum and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Carson-Newman.
Mitchell holds memberships in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Tennessee Education Association.
Mitchell, a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching, modeled two math lessons for the State Collaborative on Reforming Education panel when Hamblen County Schools was named its District of the Year.
She often models best practices for teachers throughout the school district, utilizing Manley’s audio/video enhancement room to record and share lessons.
Last spring, Mitchell became instructional leader for teachers throughout the state when she was chosen as a TNCore math coach, following a rigorous application process.
In May, she was invited to represent Tennessee as a member of a six-person team at a 26-state collaborative in Washington, D.C.
Her extensive leadership activities include assisting with Constructed Response Assessment scoring training in Hamblen County, serving as support contact for eight districts in the first Tennessee region, facilitating summer Common Core sixth grade math training sessions, acting as site coordinator in Greeneville for Common Core grades three through eight math training and teaching summer mathematics enrichment for at-risk students.
“I believe it is important to show my students that I value them as individuals and to build relationships with them above and beyond the interactions that take place in the classroom,” Mitchell said. “When current or former students invite me to an event, I make every effort to attend. I think there is no greater honor as a teacher than being invited to a student’s graduation ceremony knowing it is an acknowledgement of the role I have played in his/her future.”
Martha Miller, a seventh grade science teacher, is Meadowview Middle School’s Teacher of the Year.
A 17-year educator, she has been a member of the Meadowview faculty for four years.
The rest of her tenure was spent teaching biology I, anatomy and physiology, advanced placement biology II and physical science at Morristown East High School.
She has an Education Specialist degree in administration and supervision from LMU, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from UT and a bachelor’s degree with teacher certification in biology and chemistry from Carson-Newman.
Her continuing education includes Southern Regional Education Board leadership curriculum module training, school safety training, thoughtful classroom training, attending the High Schools that Work Conference, freshman transition training, advanced placement biology II training, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools review team training, attending the East Tennessee Title I Conference and National Science Teachers Association state and regional conferences.
At Meadowview, Miller is a co-leader of the seventh grade team, where she is in charge of student discipline, scheduling and other administrative responsibilities.
She serves as seventh grade Individualized Education Program representative, a member of the Title I committee, school improvement committee and discipline committee.
Miller is the school’s track coach, Junior Beta Club sponsor, green team sponsor and helps the landscape club with various projects around campus.
She serves as substitute principal when administrators are out of the building.
As the leader of the school’s science learning club, she is responsible for conducting monthly meetings with the science teachers. She facilitates discussion of current trends in science instruction, Common Core implementation and data analysis.
Miller is a member of the National Science Teachers Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, national, Tennessee and Hamblen County education associations and the Parent Teacher Association.
She has served as a SACS peer review team member, visiting Cocke County High School and Pi Beta Phi Elementary in Gatlinburg.
She is a board member of Friends of Bethesda, a local non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and care of the historical Bethesda Cemetery. The organization has raised significant funds to complete projects and make improvements of the historical Civil War cemetery.
In 2012, Miller was recognized as the Friends of Bethesda’s Volunteer of the Year.
Miller is also a member of the local fundraising committee for Young Life, a non-profit Christian organization that reaches out to middle school, high school and college-aged kids.
As a member of the Arrowhead Church, she serves as a volunteer.
Miller has also served as points secretary for the Tennessee High School Rodeo Association and is a former board member of Ridin’ High, a non-profit organization offering recreational and therapeutic horseback riding to children and adults with disabilities.
Cassie Doty, a sixth grade language arts teacher, is West View Middle School’s Teacher of the Year. She holds an Education Specialist degree in administration from LMU, a Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction and a bachelor’s degree in English from Carson-Newman.
A member of the West View faculty since 1999, Doty previously taught in Morgan County Schools and All Saints’ Episcopal School.
She’s a member of the National Education Association.
As a member of West View’s school data committee, Doty worked with other teachers to develop a plan to improve test scores, including a presentation to the school staff about accessing and analyzing student and teacher test data.
She has worked with other school staff to develop and present a school professional development day focusing on informational text, Common Core and constructed response.
Doty also worked to develop a district-wide language arts pacing guide based on state standards.
Ninth grade through twelfth grade:
Ricky Witt, a criminal justice teacher, is Morristown East High’s Teacher of the Year.
He received his associate degree at Southeast Community College, his bachelor’s degree in management and leadership studies from LMU and is currently working toward his master’s degree in educational leadership from Carson-Newman.
At East High, he teaches criminal justice I, II and III to sophomores, juniors and seniors.
He was assigned to the data team to assist in implementing test data and implementing staff development based on test results.
He’s a member of the C.A.N.E.S. team, a mentoring group that provides support for new teachers and helps them become successful within the school environment.
He is co-chair of the professional development focus group, which is a cross-curricular team of teachers responsible for determining professional development needs for the school.
A former police officer with the Morristown Police Department, Witt taught the D.A.R.E. program in elementary schools in Hamblen County. He was assigned to East Ridge and Meadowview as a school resource officer.
After leaving the police department in 2004, Witt was a probation officer for East Tennessee Human Resource Agency until he was hired for his current position.
While at the department, he participated in several charity basketball games to benefit Toys for Tots and refereed games for elementary and middle schools in Hamblen County
In 2004, Witt began coaching various sports in the Morristown Recreational League. He coached flag football for six years and won the sportsmanship award in 2009.
He coached T-ball for three years and basketball for one.
In 2006, he was elected pastor of Lee Valley Missionary Baptist Church and served for a year and a half. He currently is pastor of Centerview Baptist Church.
Kim Hall, a ninth grade English teacher and creative writing teacher, is Morristown West High’s Teacher of the Year. She has taught for 15 years.
A graduate of UT with a bachelor’s degree in English, she has post-graduate studies from Carson-Newman and the University of Colorado.
During her tenure at West High, Hall has taught English I, II, III and IV, content area reading, freshman skills, corrective reading, and creative writing.
At West High she is social media administrator, lead mentor, team leader for the freshman experience transition program, sponsor for anime club, prom coordinator and has served as sponsor of the Interact club and book club.
She is also a member of the leadership and school improvement teams.
She was featured as educator of the week on WBIR and is an honorary member of the Congressional Youth Leadership Council.
She is a cooperating teacher with Carson-Newman.
Hall presented “What We Do Matters” for West Greene High School and for the Niswonger NETCO Secondary Collaborative.
She was a participant in “Voices from the Holocaust” training in Washington, D.C., the High School Curriculum Reversionary Project in the Tennessee High School Assessment Review, Capturing Kids Hearts and Closing the Achievement Gap.
“As an educator, I have recognized the importance of community service,” Hall said. “So much that, for my seniors’ research projects, students would research United Way services. We would take field trips to agencies such as ALPS. Students would interview individuals who received benefits such as Kingswood School or the Boys and Girls Club.”
“However, after attending ‘Voices from the Holocaust’ workshop in Washington, D.C. in 2011, and seeing these words (What We Do Matters) on their literature, I came to realize that what I do really does matter.
“I decided then that my monetary donations to various charities and my occasional participation in Relays for Life were no longer enough,” she added.
For years, Hall’s students and she have collected items for the local animal shelter. She is a volunteer trainer at the shelter and holds monthly training sessions for groups ranging in size from five to 25 trainees.
T. Daniel Sauls, a science teacher for grades six through 12, is Miller Boyd Alternative School’s Teacher of the Year.
He has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in teaching from Carson-Newman.
After becoming a teacher he wanted to improve his skill in physics, so he attended the Middle Tennessee State University “Teaching a Conceptual Understanding of Physics” workshop.
“This helped me to become a more confident and well-rounded teacher,” he said.
Sauls has been teaching for 19 years in a variety of settings. He began in a private school with Helicon Schools Inc., teaching high school and middle school students in state custody.
He taught the sciences, social studies and math. He was involved in individualized lessons for more than 300 students, who he was able to impact by helping them reach successes not seen in their regular schools.
After teaching at Chuckey-Doak High School in Greene County, he joined the Miller Boyd staff in 2010.
“My three years at Miller Boyd have seen me be able to encourage student to thrive in science here and then be more successful upon returning to their home school,” he said.
Sauls participated in the Upper East Tennessee Chemistry Symposium at ETSU.
He also teaches fifth grade Sunday school and is involved in VBS, disaster relief and Baptist Builders.
-From Contributed Reports