By LYNN RICHARDSON
Each year the Tennessee Department of Education sponsors the Teacher of the Year program.
The program provides the opportunity to recognize outstanding teachers as well as promote recognition, respect, and appreciation for teachers in schools throughout Tennessee.
In Washington County three teachers earned the honor of being called a 2011 Teacher of the Year.
Those teachers are Angela Shelton, Cheryl Richardson and Julie Rastall.
In the Pre-Kindergarden through grade four category, first-grade teacher Angela Shelton from Lamar Elementary School was chosen as the Teacher of the Year.
Shelton has taught kindergarten and first grade at Lamar for the last seven years.
She is currently teaching first grade.
Ms. Shelton is very deserving of the award, said Selina Blevins, Lamar principal. She goes above and beyond to meet the needs of all students. She makes learning fun and meaningful, involving parents as much as possible. She is truly an asset to Lamar School.
Shelton said she became a teacher because I love to work with children and watch them learn and grow.
The Teacher of the Year in the category for grades five through eight, is Cheryl Richardson, a sixth grade language arts teacher at West View School.
During the past six years, Richardson has taught sixth grade science, sixth grade language arts, and seventh grade language arts.
This year she is teaching sixth and seventh grade language arts.
Shes a wonderful teacher who goes out of her way, not only to help her students, but to help other teachers, said West View Principal Patton Gamble. She does staff development with new teachers here at our school and across the county. She is a teacher-leader and exemplifies that in many ways.
Richardson said she became a teacher for several reasons.
I have been very blessed to have had positive childhood experiences and supportive parents in my life. I have always set high expectations for myself and tried to live up to them, she said. I can think of no other career that allows me to learn new things everyday, inspire others, make others believe they can do anything, all while making learning fun.
In the category for grades nine through 12, David Crockett High School English teacher Julie Rastall earned the title.
Rastall has 14 years of teaching experience and has taught English at DCHS for five years.
Shes a wonderful teacher. You can depend on her. Shell serve on any committee and serve in any capacity asked of her, said Carmen Bryant, Crocketts principal. She really is an outstanding teacher. Her test scores are always good and she has a way with students. She has high expectations for them and they always strive to meet those expectations.
Rastall said she became a teacher because she wanted children to enjoy reading as much as she does.
I love to see their faces light up when they get the meaning of a story or have an insight to share with the class that is poignant and meaningful, she said. Also, I want students to know that, no matter what their circumstances, they can succeed.
All three teachers will be honored at a future Washington County Board of Education meeting and will recieve a certificate from the State Department of Education noting the honor.
By LYNN RICHARDSON