By Sarrah Peters
On Thursday, May 9, the Etowah Chamber took the time to honor the many great educators in the county at the second annual Excellence in Education Award Luncheon.
“We have so many wonderful things going on in our educational systems,” said Chamber President Heather Brothers New. “So, Excellence in Education is primarily to collect and celebrate all those wonderful things that we are getting right.”
New said that the nomination process allows the Chamber staff to hear about all kinds of innovative programs and efforts within all of the school systems.
“It’s really exciting,” said New. “Some things we didn’t know about beforehand and some we did. Excellence in Education celebrates partnerships. It celebrates individuals. It celebrates students. We were looking for things that exemplify excellence, that go above and beyond.”
The event takes the opportunity to honor the Teachers of the Year from each school in each school system. In each school system, one of the elementary school Teachers of the Year was selected as the Elementary Teacher of the Year and one of the middle and high school Teachers of the Year was selected as the Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Attalla City School system’s Teachers of the Year were: Danielle Holland of Attalla Elementary School; Steve Roach of Etowah Middle School; and Katie Bowman of Etowah High School.
Danielle Holland of Attalla Elementary School was selected as the Attalla City school system’s Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Steve Roach of Etowah Middle School was selected as the Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Gadsden City School system’s Teachers of the Year were Tiffany Sayles of Adams Elementary School; Grace Walton of Donehoo Elementary School; Mary Humphries of Eura Brown Elementary School; Amy Smith of Floyd Elementary School; Elizabeth Griggers of Mitchell Elementary School; Tricia Sirmon of Striplin Elementary School; Van Kedra Bradford of Thompson Elementary School; Kim Wells-Brackett of Walnut Park Elementary School; Payton Golden of Emma Sansom Middle School; Shannon Campbell of Gadsden Middle School; Jimmie Tinker, Jr. of Litchfield Middle School; and Mandy Frantz of Gadsden City High School.
Tiffany Sayles of Adams Elementary School was selected as the Gadsden City school system’s Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Jimmie Tinker, Jr. of Litchfield Middle School was selected as the Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Etowah County School system’s Teachers of the Year were Misty Ledbetter of Carlisle Elementary School; Christopher Cornutt of Duck Springs Elementary School; Heath McLeod of Gaston Elementary School; Jennifer Knighten of Gaston High School; Rachel Chapman of Glencoe Elementary School; Ann B. Smith of Glencoe Middle School; Katey Blakeley of Glencoe High School; Haley Weaver of Highland Elementary School; Alicia Bullock Dowling of Hokes Bluff Elementary School; Connie P. Clark of Hokes Bluff Middle School; Jill Braddy Boatwright of Hokes Bluff High School; Keri Galloway of Ivalee Elementary School; Pamela Harris Williams of John S. Jones Elementary School; Gina Burns of Rainbow Middle School; Andrea Partrick of Sardis Middle School; Amy Maroney of Sardis High School; Trena Holmes of Southside Elementary School; Sonya Blackwell of Southside High School; Donna Riley of West End Elementary School; Chad Hall of West End High School; Ellen Brooks of Whitesboro Elementary School; Barry Thomas McNair of Etowah County Career Technical Center; and Bridget Cushing of Special Education Learning Center.
Trena Holmes of Southside Elementary School was selected as the Etowah County school system’s Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Jill Braddy Boatwright of Hokes Bluff High School was selected as the Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Etowah private schools’ Teachers of the Year were Greta Cleveland of Coosa Christian Elementary School; Julie Delp of Coosa Christian High School; Sharon Reynolds of Episcopal Day School Elementary; Emily Hayes of Episcopal Day School Secondary; Beth Kelly of St. James Catholic School; Kristin Countryman of Westbrook Christian Elementary School; and Teresa Hibbs of Westbrook Christian High School.
Sharon Reynolds of Episcopal Day School was selected as the Etowah private school Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Teresa Hibbs of Westbrook Christian High School was selected as the Secondary Teacher of the Year.
The Excellence in Education Award Ceremony also presents awards to programs and individuals that are exemplary examples of education and educators in Etowah County.
Etowah County Project SEARCH won the City of Gadsden Excellence in Workforce Development award. Paige Hayes of Gadsden City Schools won the Heart of an Educator Award for K-12.
The Gadsden City High School Career Tech program won the Gadsden State Community College Excellence in Career Tech for K-12.
The Boys and Girls Club’s Career Academy won the Honda Manufacturing of Alabama Excellence in Community Collaboration Award.
The Gadsden Public Library’s STEM Kit Lending Library won the Jacksonville State University Excellence in Community Outreach Award.
“All of us at the Gadsden Public Library are extremely proud of our fellow team member, Jillian Reeves, GPL’s Children’s Department Supervisor, and the marvelous job she is doing to partner with city and county school teachers along with many Home School groups in the area to improve STEM learning of students,” said Gadsden Public Library Director Craig Scott. “Jill is certainly deserving of the JSU Excellence in Community Outreach Award for her very creative STEM Kit Lending Library. GPL would also like to thank the Gadsden-Etowah Chamber of Commerce along with Gadsden State Community College for sponsoring the Excellence in Education Awards again this year!”
Noah Grady won the TeamOne Automotive Group Exceptional Student Award for K-12.
Laura Sims won the Etowah County Commission Excellence in Administration Award for K-12.
Dr. Deborah Curry won the Excellence in Administration Award for Post-Secondary Education.
STEP RN-BSN Program won the Excellence in Career Advancement Award.
Deborah Reynolds won the Excellence in Career Tech Award for Post-Secondary Education.
John S. Jones Elementary Bicentennial School Community Recycle Program won the Excellence in Citizenship Award.
Amanda Milam won the Excellence in Early Childhood Education Award.
Attalla Elementary School won the Excellence in Educational Achievement Award.
The JSU Teaching and Learning Center won the Excellence in Innovative Learning Award.
The On To JSU program won the Excellence in Special Education Award for Post-Secondary Education.
Serendipity Day won the Excellence in STEAM Education Award.
Amy Wagnon and the Tuesday Lunch Bunch program won the Excellence in Student Empowerment Award.
Severe Threats won the Exceptional Student Award for Post-Secondary Education.
Dave Murdock won the Alabama Teachers Credit Union Heart of an Educator Award for Post-Secondary Education.