By MARINA WATERS
It’s one thing to be chosen for an award, but it’s a different honor entirely to be chosen for that award by your peers.
That’s exactly what 22 of the Washington County School System’s educators gathered to celebrate at the Teacher of the Year Banquet on Thursday, May 16.
“Washington County can’t be the school system it is without the teachers we’ve got,” Washington County Board of Education Chairman Keith Ervin said at the event. “On behalf of the Washington County School Board, I would like to thank the teachers for their handwork and their decision to teach the students of Washington County.”
Teachers from 14 of the county’s schools were chosen in either the Pre K through fourth grade category, the fifth through eighth grade category or the ninth through twelfth grade category.
Among those chosen, three teachers of the year were selected from each category as the system level teacher of the year.
Jackie Mumpower, an interventionist at Boones Creek Elementary School, was chosen for the Pre K through fourth grade category, Brooke Price, a school counselor who was selected for her work at Jonesborough Middle School, was chosen for the fifth through eighth grade category, and Cathy Reynolds, a family and consumer science teacher at Daniel Boone High School, was chosen for the ninth through twelfth grade category.
“Washington County employs just over 600 professional educators and each year we choose three to be the system level teachers of the year,” Washington County Director of Schools Bill Flanary said. “The decision is made by valid educators who judge upon resumes and they have no idea the person’s name who they’re judging.”
Other than numerous “thank you”s, school officials had little else to say to this year’s award recipients other than a closing request from the director of schools.
Flanary said he had met with the state’s teacher of the year, Melissa Miller, earlier that day during her visit in the county. When asked what she would say to the educators who earned a teacher of the year award, her reply was simple: keep going.
“She said, ‘Tell them to keep doing what they’re doing,’” Flanary said. “‘Whatever it is that got them there, what ever it is that brought them to this point, keep doing it.’ I think that’s powerful and I can’t think of a better way to end this evening. Thank you for all you do for the children of Washington County. And whatever it is you’re doing, keep doing it.”