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Tribute to Teachers

 

RBC Bank is pleased to announce the 2011 Tribute to Teachers December award winners. Through their tireless dedication, exemplary leadership, and outstanding performance, they truly create a path towards excellence in education.

Below is a list of the winners and their nominations as they were received. For a list of the 2011 Tribute to Teachers May award winners, click here.

Congratulations to these inspirational educators:



Laura Aquilone – Kensington Elementary School (Waxhaw, NC)

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Teamwork

“She does an exceptional job of meeting every student exactly where they are, both academically and developmentally, in a classroom that includes both kindergarten and first grade students. She does all of this while maintaining open, direct, honest, and timely communication with parents. Her ability to take an individual approach with each child and each parent promotes exceptional growth in every student she teaches.”
~ Laura Lee

Teamwork

“Mrs. Aquilone is always looking for new and exciting ways to keep the kids interested in learning. She strives to bring hand-on real world applications to the classrooms so the kids can experience first hand and hands on, what they are learning about. Mrs. Aquilone has a talent for encouraging each child to excel based on his or her individual level and continually strives to show the importance of teamwork and community building both in the classroom and outside the classroom. Mrs. Aquilone also in an active participant in enrichment classes for the kids after school, participates in the PTO and makes sure that parents are active participants in their child's learning experience. Mrs. Aquilone builds a strong relationship with each child. I see it with previous students that come back to say hi and the emotional aspect at the end of each school year when she needs to say goodbye to her 'friends.' She teaches a multi-age class and knows how to bring out the leader in her 'older friends' while the 'younger friends' learn from so many role models and then have a chance to become the leader the following year. She truly is a dedicated teacher that can provide tons of enrichment to learning to our kids, the future of tomorrow. She genuinely cares for each and every friend in her class!”
~ Tina Dannaker

Teamwork

“It is my great privilege to nominate Mrs Laura Aquilone for this Tribute to Teachers award. In a multiuse classroom consisting of kindergarteners and 1st graders, community is obviously a top priority for her. Her older friends (1st graders) and younger friends (kindergarteners) are taught to help one another, respect differences, and overall, be kind. As the mother of one of her younger friends, who happens to have special needs, this is a quality that is of utmost importance to me. Her classroom is not only a community but becomes like an extended family. The children encourage one another and celebrate the small steps each other accomplishes, as if it were their own successes. Mrs Aquilone, along with her amazing assistant - Pam Rorie, makes our son feel like his family has extended beyond the walls of our home into his school & classroom, and I would bet each student's family in her classroom would say the same. Her encouragement to essentially love one another is something we should hope all young students are repeatedly exposed to. This world will be a better place because of teachers like her, and she surely deserves recognition.”
~ Autumn Williams

Service

“Mrs. Aquilone is a fantastic teacher! You can see the passion she has for the children as soon as you enter the room. She has brought out the best in my first grader, sees her strengths and works with them. I can honestly say I think she is the best teacher that we have come across in our family. ”
~ Bridget McNeill

Teamwork

“Laura Aquilone is an outstanding example of an excellent teacher. She is totally committed to the children in her class and genuinely cares about them as people, as well as about their successful learning and achievement. Mrs. Aquilone is also fiercely determined to teach the children about caring for and working with each other. She places a very high emphasis on self-esteem and the inherent worth of others. I have been extremely impressed with her and am thrilled my daughter gets to experience kindergarten with Mrs. Aquilone. She certainly deserves any extra support in the classroom and would be a worthy winner of the RBC Bank Tribute to Teachers.”
~ Erin Whittenburg

Teamwork

“Ms. Aquilone is a remarkably dedicated and enthusiastic teacher. She loves her students and goes to great lengths to touch the lives of not only each student but each family member of each student. She is incredible!!!”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“My son is in Kindergarten and he just loves it. He loves her and is learning so much. I am so very grateful and blessed that she is his teacher. You can tell she puts so very much time and love into teaching her class and making every child feel right and home and loved.”
~ Beth Ciaccio

Responsibility

“For the innovative ideas that she implements in the classroom. Also, she deserves to get back for all that she gives to her students. She makes learning fun in her classroom, and that could make a huge difference in how the children see school from the beginning.”
~ Amy Ratterree .

Service

“Ms. Aquilone is such a caring and creative teacher. She truly cares about each and every one of her students and she strives to find a way to make learning fun for everyone.”
~ Tennille Luginbill



Sheila Bailey – Prattville Junior High School (Prattville, AL)

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Responsibility

“ Mrs Bailey is our Special Education teacher in the contained classroom where the students are taught academics as well as life skills. She is always in need of academic supplies and cleaning and cooking supplies. ”
~ Renee Quick

Service

“ I am nominating Mrs Bailey because she is a great teacher. She teaches our Special Ed class at PJHS and does a wonderful job. She has her students involved in all our activities at school. We love to see them come around to our classes on Fridays because that is their Bake Sale Day. The class bakes brownies and cookies and sells them to us to raise money for their classroom for supplies. We love Mrs. Bailey and her class! Please pick her and her class to receive this money!! ”
~ Emily Barber

Teamwork

“ I'm nominating Sheila Bailey of Prattville Jr. High School because she really needs this money for her classroom. She is the teacher in the Special Ed classroom where she instructs students in academics and life skills. I substitute teach in this classroom for either her or one of her aides when needed, so I know personally how much of her own money she has to spend for instructional materials for her class. She would be so grateful to be included in the 100 finalists. Mrs Bailey truly cares for all of her students and encourages them to excel. Last year, because of her students high AAA test scores, she helped our school to make AYP!!! That was such an accomplishment for our students as well as proof that Mrs Bailey is a great educator!! Please consider my nomination of Mrs Sheila Bailey for one of your finalists and possibly your Grand Prize Winner!!! ”
~ Jean Musselman



Dr. Sheila Barnes – Arnall Middle School ( Newnan, GA )

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Service

“ She never gives up on us. She will do anything and everything she can to help us succeed. Everyone enjoys her and she teaches us by doing instead of just talking the whole time. We learn by doing hands on work and we do a lot of experiments in her class. ”
~ Nicole Hagley



Tara Beal – Reidsville Middle School (Reidsville, NC)

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Responsibility

“As a first year teacher, Tara has strived to do her absolute best in her 8th grade math classroom. Having known from the very beginning that she wanted to teach, she has been preparing her whole life to be in a classroom preparing her students for success in life after school. Having just started out, she has spent countless hours before and after school preparing engaging and exciting lessons for her students. She has had a successful year so far with great classroom participation and wonderful reviews from her administration. From having often discussed her career with her, I believe that she would say that her greatest accomplishment would be her third six-week benchmarks. All students improved greatly from the previous benchmark and was so happy when she gave them their scores. Tara always has something to express about what she has learned this year. She has learned how important the classroom environment is, how patience is a necessity and teamwork is vital to her success and her students’ success. She speaks highly of her colleagues and their work together. Her activities inside the classroom sound exciting as well. She says her belief is no great work should go unnoticed and uncelebrated, no matter how big or small it may be. She once explained to me the term “21st Century Learning”. As she puts it, it is about engaging the students in their own unique ways by creating, connecting and thinking critically. She says it’s also about being aware and flexible. She talks about that she is aware that her students want to be engaged by technology. There are many ways in which Tara is involved in her school. She is involved in her school’s committee against bullying, positive behavior reinforcement committee, her CASA meetings and now she coaches track. She is very excited about all of these, but I more so hear about coaching track. She is working closely with the shot-put and discus throwers. She participated in these events herself in school and did well, so she wanted to pass that along. She enjoys working with her students outside the classroom. From my point of view, her students love her. When she was severely sick one week and had to miss some days, the kids made here a gigantic get well soon card. They have made her so many drawings that are hanging in her classroom, and they flock to her when she is around. Tara has worked tirelessly to provide an environment conducive to learning and achievement. ”
~ Jason Beal



Ashley Bradley – Abney Elementary School ( Dallas, GA )

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Responsibility

“ Ms. Bradley is a teacher who cares about her students and translates that caring into doing what is best for her students every single day. As a first grade teacher she is working with students with a wide disparity in skill sets yet she spends the time with the individual students daily to keep them moving forward. She obtained her Masters degree while performing full time as a teacher and has continuously implemented new processes and procedures in her classroom. Ms. Bradley embraces technology such as whiteboards in the classroom and then at home searches the internet for ideas and new ways of teaching that have been researched and tested. Instead of using the same lesson plans year after year, she is constantly adapting her lesson plans to the needs of her students. Like many classrooms, there are never enough supplies to go around, and even though Ms. Bradley is a newer teacher, which translates into lower pay, she still makes sure the required items are in the classroom, even if she has to buy them with her own funds. Ms. Bradley has a consistent approach to keeping parents informed through newsletters and individual notifications to parents. She uses a structured method of identifying and dealing with misbehavior in the classroom through use of color coding which allows the students to adjust their behavior during the day (no one strike and you are out program), while at the same time allowing the parents to know the child's behavior on a daily basis. I am sure there are many deserving teachers, but I believe Ms. Bradley's attitude and effort as well as her excellent results should culminate in her receiving this recognition she so much deserves. ”
~ Hayward Kight



Cherie Britton – Beauregard Elementary School (Opelika, AL)

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Responsibility

“ This is Cherie's second year as a second grade teacher at Beauregard Elementary School. The previous six years Cherie was a para educator working with special needs children while she attended classes and earned her Associates degree and then her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. Cherie was able to balance being a student, wife, mother while working a full time job. Once she was hired as a full time teacher all the hard work and dedication was rewarded when she was given her first class. Cherie was prepared for her first year from the experience she gained by working under several knowledgeable and dedicated teachers. Her students fell in love with her from day one. She is not a push over and demands and expects the best from her students while guiding them with a loving hand. She spends time in the mornings at home preparing for the day ahead and stays after work to make sure her room is ready for the next day. She has an open door policy for the parents or guardians of her students, meeting with them at school, talking with them on the phone after hours or chatting with them online during the weekend to provide any help or guidance that may be needed. Cherie is very imaginative in her presentation of the material where she tries to make learning fun all the while staying on task with the material. I believe one the best compliments a teacher can receive is to be requested by parents to have their child placed in a teachers’ room. Cherie had this happen at the beginning of this school year and the great part about that is she did not know a couple of the students but the parents knew about her. If Cherie were to be recognized as a finalist, I know she would appreciate winning and would put the money towards material needed in the classroom. ”
~ Mike Britton



Kristen Buckner – McLendon Elementary School ( Decatur, GA )

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Service

“ I think she should win $500 for her classroom because she is one of a kind. She has such a passion for teaching and investing in her kids lives. There have been several occasions where has gone out of her way to provide for those kids, whether school related items or personal items. She cares for these kids as if they were her own. Her whole mission in life is to minister to these kids and help them grow up to be successful men and women, both educationally and personally. ”
~ Kiley Buckner

Service

“Kristen is so passionate about her job as a teacher. Her students are very much like family to her. I see how much she cares for students, not only on an education level but also on a personal level. ”
~ Kimberly Summerville

Service

“ Kristen loves her students as if they were her own children and devotes a tremendous amount of time, energy, and money to make sure that they succeed. Her passion for her job as well as the students and their parents is truly inspiring to me. ”
~ LeAnna Boon

Integrity

“ Kristen constantly goes above and beyond for her students. Teaching is her calling, her passion and her commitment. ”
~ Melanie Trudeau

Responsibility

“ She should win the money because she is the most dedicated teacher I know. There is a great passion in her for teaching like I have never seen someone else have. If only my teachers could have had the joy that she has I would have loved school so much more. The time she spends putting into her job is more than normal, goes above and beyond for everything. There is no reason that she should not win it. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“Kristen teaches 1st grade at an inner city school with a large population of refugee students, many who don't speak English. Although there is great concern about them learning the basics, she is broken hearted over their living conditions and lack of proper nourishment. Kristen has provided many of the resources in her classroom with her own money, but more than the classroom resources, she has provided hats, gloves, socks as goodies for Christmas break, worried about them getting cold. There is no support from the parents. They seldom show up for teacher conferences and rarely send requested supplies such as hand sanitizer and tissues. Even so, she loves her kids.”
~ Jamie Buckner

Integrity

“ I think Kristen deserves to win the $500 because she truly would take the $500 and spend it with each of her kids in mind. She is one of those people that is truly born to be a teacher. She is patient, kind, and loves them all. She believes in giving back and does so in more ways than just teaching. She is blessed by God and wants to teach the love in her heart to everyone that she comes into contact with. It's hard to pick just one value because she exemplifies them all, but overall, she will always do everything in her life with integrity. ”
~ J. DeRoche



Stan Chapman – Murphy High School (Mobile, AL)

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Responsibility

“ Have you ever met someone who is constantly busy? Stan Chapman is currently the band director, music theory teacher, and extended essay coordinator for Murphy's International Baccalaureate program. Because of his efforts the band program at the school is top-notch, the music theory class is compelling, and the students in the IB program are more likely to succeed. The Murphy band consistently wins superior ratings at both marching festivals and symphonic contests. These competitions include local, state-wide, national, and international venues. In 2008, the City of Mobile asked the band to perform in Cockburn, Australia in their Springtime Festival to celebrate the new status of the two cities as Sister Cities. The necessary reputation of high quality and dedication in order to do this was and is maintained by Mr. Chapman. He does this by intensive summer camps and summer-long free required private lessons, daily practices, and instilling performance philosophy in his students. Mr. Chapman's knowledge on the subject of music theory is formidable. With an unlimited supply of markers, a textbook, a keyboard, dozens of hand-outs and a dry erase board with staves glued to it, he imparts a thorough understanding to the dedicated student. I say 'dedicated' because the classes were also quite hard for some. However, his instruction inspired me to join the band and pursue my interest in music; now, largely thanks to him, I'm majoring in music my freshman year of college. The motivation he gives to his students is gained from competence and interest, both of which are the results of taking any of his classes. In the IB program, the extended essay is the crowning achievement: around four thousand words on an academic subject of your choice. Mr. Chapman ensures that the students' progress is on time and supervises their interactions with their mentors. He usually mentors a few students, as well, developing their theses and suggesting revisions. This is more time-intensive than it sounds, and he does this while upholding a family life-- a wife and two kids-- and his adjunct bass instructor position at the University of Mobile. Stan Chapman deserves the grant, then, because of his constant attention to the maintenance of quality even while being so busy. He could use the money to improve his classroom-- buying a SMART Board, perhaps-- and to develop the band both in its equipment and in its travel expenses. However, this doesn't mean he will be any less busy. ”
~ Christopher Holder



Monica Corbett – Rowlette Elementary School (Bradenton, FL)

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Responsibility

“ Mrs. Corbett is the most phenomenal teacher I have ever come across. She has been a godsend to all her students and especially my son. My son has reading difficulties. It is only through Mrs. Corbett's perseverance and advocacy that he is making leaps and bounds in reading and spelling. She did not wait to make accommodations for him. On the second day of school she initiated a long meeting with me and discussed her plan of action to help my son with his difficulties. She not only tutors my son on her own time but other children in her class as well. She tutors kids that are doing well and need more of a challenge. All of this is free of charge. She expects nothing in return. The pure satisfaction of seeing her children excel is her reward. Mrs. Corbett has even offered with sincerity to tutor my son over the summer free of charge. She will email me at all hours of the night. It is not uncommon to see she has emailed me at 1 a.m. In spite of my sons' difficulties reading he comes home every day feeling good about himself. Mrs. Corbett has instilled in him a sense of self-esteem that he can do anything with a little hard work and a determined attitude. Mrs. Corbett goes more than just above and beyond...she gives her heart and soul into teaching these eager learners. In her classroom there is such positive energy and a hum going on that exemplifies a love of learning. Each child is treated with respect and in turn with Mrs. Corbett's facilitation the children learn to treat others with respect. Not only is she teaching academics to her second graders but she is also teaching them how to resolve conflicts, be a good friend and good citizens. Mrs. Corbett is teaching her children how to research topics, how to take notes, and when presenting to the class she is instructing them how to give eye contact and how to use their voices appropriately. We are so blessed that next year the entire class 'loops' up with Mrs. Corbett for third grade. The 2011-2012 school year will be her last year teaching before retirement. Monica Corbett, a beautiful, kind hearted soul, deserves to be acknowledged for all her hard work and her true, passionate love of teaching and of nurturing children. ”
~ Eve Moor



Myra Crews – Rutherford High School (Panama City, FL)

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Teamwork

“ Mrs Crews should win the 500 dollars because she is one of the most legit Chemistry and science teachers I have ever had the privilege to learn from. She teaches in a clear understandable way but sometimes does not have the tools to do many experiments with us because of a lack of finance. And we as a class go to many elementary schools to perform experiments with the students and I believe the 500 dollars would help to support not only her and our class but also the many younger students that we reach out to in order to make sure they find science educational and fun. The 500 dollars would benefit Bay County as a whole not just Mrs. Crews separately. And would be beneficial to the upcoming younger generations! ”
~ Rachel Bostron

Service

“Myra works hard to locate funds so that she can share her expertise with other schools in the community. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ I nominate Myra Crews for this Award. I have been associated with Ms. Crews' Elementary School Chemistry program for approximately 12 years both as the father of two daughters who benefitted from being in the program while in Ms. Crews' Chemistry II class and as an elementary school assistant principal whose fifth grade students participated in the program at Rutherford High School. Both daughters went on to graduate from college and are professionally employed in the business or educational world (one as a middle school science teacher). All of my elementary students who participated in the hands on experiments and lessons in Ms. Crews' laboratory came away with renewed interest in science and academics in general. The program contributed to the students' success in school.”
~ Robert T. Simonson - Assistant Principal, Deer Point Elementary School



Lauren Davis – Smithfield-Selma High School (Smithfield, NC)

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Teamwork

“ Lauren Davis exemplifies all the values listed by RBC, service, teamwork, responsibility and integrity. She is a first year mathematics teacher at SSS and already has invested countless hours outside the classroom to ensure her students receive a sound foundation in Algebra and Geometry. She not only teaches math, but also teaches personal commitment integrity and teamwork--devising group projects to help the students teach each other. One of her planned projects will have students look at the benefits of investments and how they perform over time. The lesson of how regular saving and investment of small sums can reap a larger nest egg than delayed investing of greater dollar amounts is not a concept most kids learn in high school. Her students will learn math in the context of real life applications making it relevant and giving the students more incentive to master the subject. Ms. Davis shopped the sales to acquire supplies for her classroom so that even students who cannot afford it will have access to the tools to succeed. She has used her savings to purchase calculators, rulers, protractors, compasses, graph paper and other items relevant for math teachers in addition to the usual pencils, pens and paper. Her budget does not yet extend to software for her classroom (e.g. Geometry Sketchpad) which would really enhance the learning experience for her students. $500 would enable her to maximize her students' experience this year and for many years to come. RBC couldn't find a better investment. Why is Ms. Davis unique? Another young woman in Johnston County began teaching middle school math last spring. She lost her home in a tornado but managed to finish the year well prepared for the fall. On her return to school, she found all her classroom supplies had been discarded. The back-to-school sales were over and she could not afford to replace her supplies. As a new teacher, Ms. Davis understood better than anyone the importance of getting off to a good start. She packaged up a crate of her own supplies to share with this young woman whom she had never met. This act alone demonstrates her commitment to teamwork and service to others. Ms. Davis is a teacher whose core values shine through in everything she does inside and outside the classroom. Her commitment to the current and future success of every student everywhere makes her the ideal candidate for this award. Thanks for choosing Ms. Lauren Davis for RBC Tribute to Teachers.”
~ Anonymous



Richelle Dombroski – Emsley A. Laney High School (Wilmington, NC)

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Service

“Mrs. Dombroski teaches one honors history class, one regular level history class, and Laney's only Teacher Cadet class. Just teaching the Teacher Cadets is a full-time job; then she goes and teaches two other classes. Being the Teacher Cadet teacher involves many things. Mrs. Dombroski teaches all 17 of us first semester about the professional standards of teaching, how to write 6-point lesson plans, and other necessary skills for teaching. Another part of teaching the Teacher Cadets involves Mrs. Dombroski placing each one of us in a classroom and observing us teach at least twice. Along with all of her dedication to the Teacher Cadet Program, she is also the head of the Social Studies Department and she places all student teachers from UNCW in appropriate classrooms. She has become a mentor for her co-workers, her Teacher Cadets, and the UNCW students. It is amazing to me how much extra work she does around Laney without recognition. Her biggest goal is to help her students and her co-workers to be the best and most successful people that they can be. She truly loves her job and the opportunity to come and inspire people every day. As a Teacher Cadet, I have seen her at her best and her worst times and I have realized that, whatever may be going on in her life, she truly cares about her students. I have learned so much from her about teaching, caring, and being a good person. She deserves this money more than any teacher that I have ever known and I know that she will put it to great use.”
~ Laken Flanders

Responsibility

“Richelle Dombroski is the most dedicated and amazing teacher that I know! She is constantly pushing herself and others to do the absolute best that they can. She has been under a lot of stress lately to provide for her Teacher Cadet Program and two history classes. With the budget dwindling, I think that she truly needs this money because she will put it to good use. She is the head of her department which means that she takes on a lot of responsibility for them. She is a very giving person, so whenever anyone in the history department needs something, she will help them get it. The only thing she loves more than her job and her students are her family and that is easy to see. Everyday, she expresses her dedication to Laney High School and her excitement to be there. $500 can make a huge difference for her with supplies for all her classes. She thoroughly enjoys teaching students by allowing them to make projects and research some on their own. She believes that the best way for a student to learn is not to be taught, but to be lead into discovery. This is what makes every student who walks out of her classroom look forward to the next day. Many students can not go out and buy supplies such as glue of construction paper for their projects. In order for her to teach the way that she believes is best for the students, she must provide these materials. As we all know, that requires money and she continues to receive less each year. The lack of funds is making it very hard for her to teach to her best ability and for the students to learn through discovery. Along with her two history classes, she also teaches a Teacher Cadet class. Teacher Cadet is a class that students can take where they learn to teach and get to experience teaching in a classroom every day for a semester. Teacher Cadets are taught many things, one of which is making bulletin boards. Bulletin boards require a lot of paper, shapes, letters, and any other wanted aspects. The Teacher Cadet program is no longer provided any money from the county under the new budget. She is very upset about this and is not sure how she is going to teach the future teachers without the needed supplies. This is why I think that my teacher, Mrs. Richelle Dombroski, deserves $500 to use for her needed classroom supplies.”
~ Whitney Gibbs



Cora Escott Hall – Crumly Chapel Elementary School (Birmingham, AL)

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Service

“ Mrs. Cora Escott Hall has been a Kindergarten teacher at Crumly Chapel Elementary School for the past twenty-three years. She is a dedicated, industrious, and self-motivated teacher who puts her students and their learning first. Her classroom consists of age-appropriate learning activities which promote reading and math literacy. She supports student interest through scientifically-based research practices, carrying each application to fidelity. She is also an A.R.I.-trained professional who endorses the above mentioned exercises with her colleagues. She clearly communicates expectations and notes strengths to better improve her grade level’s performance. Mrs. Hall realizes that children need more in this day and age. She incorporates many life skills into her daily teaching. Each morning she greets the children at her doorway with “Good Morning, how are you today?” and the children respond with a handshake and “I am fine, Mrs. Hall, and how you are today?” Then anyone walking down her hallway may enjoy Mrs. Hall and her students singing the National Anthem at the top of their lungs. Parents recognize and appreciate that she goes above and beyond in order to help students who need additional assistance. They see that she provides this assistance with a “can do” attitude every day. It is for these reasons that she is the most requested Kindergarten teacher at Crumly Chapel Elementary School year after year. Mrs. Hall is also well respected by her peers. She embodies professionalism and exemplary work ethics. Cora has the ability to relate to people in various ways and on many levels, which contributes to her effectiveness as a leader within the classroom and with her peers. She is truly an asset to our school. It is for the above reasons that I would like to nominate Mrs. Cora Escott Hall for the RBC Bank's Tribute to Teachers award.”
~ Donna Page



Bridget Fries – Indian Trails Middle School (Palm Coast, FL)

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Responsibility

“Ms. Fries is a great Teacher”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ I would love to see Bridget Fries win this $500 for her classroom, she is an awesome Teacher, she loves the kids and the kids love her. Bridget is always doing things for the kids. She spends a lot of her own money on fun ways of teaching. This is one of those Teachers who really cares. I and many others would love to see her win this ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

“ I would like to nominate Bridget Fries for the $500, I am currently a Para in her classroom. Mrs. Fries is a wonderful Teacher she loves each and every one of her students. Watching Bridget Fries teach on a daily basis is a joy. Its teachers like her who inspires others. She cares about her students and also for the staff that works with her. I would love to see Ms. Fries win this award. She works so hard and spends so much of her own money on the students. For example: She gives the kids everyday snacks and drinks; She spends money on a treasure box for the kids to earn prizes; Reward parties; and when she teachers science she gets candy and all the kids make cells using the candy and then they can have the goodies. She teaches integers in math using M&M’s and Skittles. She makes learning so much fun. She helps the kids that need supplies for the class like notebooks and pencils and if they didn’t have breakfast, she helps in that area too. If any teacher deserves this award, it is Ms. Fries. ”
~ Cheryl Andrews

Integrity

“Bridget Fries is very passionate about teaching and loves her students. They love her too I know she spends a lot of her own savings to buy extra supplies for her class, she buys rewards so that once a week the kids have a chance to pick from a reward box that is how dedicated she is. She is definitely deserving of the $500 award.”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Amazing Teacher she makes activities fun. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Ms. Fries is an ESE teacher who deserves to win this award. The kids love her and come to her for everything. She spends a lot of her own money on projects, reward parties and snack and treats for the students. She makes learning fun. Not any Student goes without. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“Most giving and generous teacher I know. She is organized, thorough and gentle.”
~ Anonymous

Service

“Bridget Fries is an awesome Teacher and we would love to see her get this award. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“Ms. Fries is awesome, the kids love her, she deserves this award she works so hard and does so many great things for the kids.”
~ Anonymous

Service

“Where do I begin Ms. Fries is the most awesome Teacher. She cares about her students so much. She spends her own money on supplies for her students who do have no one goes without, she treats her staff with so much respect. She is the most caring and giving person We know. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

“ Ms. Fries is an amazing Teacher she teaches outside the box and is very creative in her lessons. I cannot think of a more deserving Teacher ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

“ Where do I begin Ms. Fries deserves this award so much I have never seen such an awesome teacher she does so much for her students, not only her students but the people who work with her she cares so much about them too. She spends a lot of her own money on creative projects for the kids, award parties for the students. I would love to see her get this award and so would a lot of others. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

“ I would love to see Ms. Fries win this award she is an awesome Teacher she comes up with so many creative ideas to teach her students and this means supplies and she does that with her own money, she has a treasure box for the kids to earn every Friday, she also gives the students snacks and juice. We would be so happy to see her get this award. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Ms. Fries is a great teacher see loves us. She has a treasure box in her room and we earn treats for good work. She has great lessons and makes learning fun. I hope our teacher wins. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Ms. Fries was selected Teacher of the year two years ago, She has a gift for encouraging her students to be successful. She also loves to find creative ways to teach them. Ms. Fries pays for many of her teaching supplies .She is a very caring teacher. The best is when you see the kids come back from High School to visit her and tell how well they are doing. I would love to see her win this award. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

“ Mrs. Fries is an exceptional teacher and she deserves this reward. She not only loves the children but is so passionate about her job. Mrs. Fries spends her own money to reward the children for good behavior and take them on multiple field trips. Working in the ESE program can be very challenging at times but Mrs. Fries overcomes all obstacles and always comes out shinning. ”
~ Gina

Teamwork

“ Bridget Fries is an awesome teacher and a caring and loving person to her students and co- workers. She deserves this award. ”
~ Gloirann Ledek

Responsibility

“ I couldn't think of a better Teacher to nominate then Bridget Fries She works in our ESE department has so much love for the kids. Comes up with creative ways of learning. Spends her money on rewards, snacks and juices and also supplies we would love to see her get this award, she deserves to be rewarded. ”
~ Maryann

Integrity

“ Ms. Fries works in our ESE department, she has a way of teaching, for all the students to understand on the different levels they are at. She is so caring, she rewards the kids with treasure box on Friday she supplies snacks and drinks everyday and has reward parties for them. If Ms. Fries won this award I know the money would go for more creative learning tools. She deserves this award and we would love to see her get it... ”
~Cathy

Service

“I feel Ms. Fries is the best teacher. She treats us so good. We have rewards all the time for all our good work. She helps us and tells us not to worry, ms. Fries gives us snacks and if we need notebooks or pencils she gives them to us. I want to see Ms. Fries win. ”
~ Joe

Service

“ I think Ms. Fries should win this $500 dollars she would use the money to get more learning tools for the students her lessons are so good and she makes learning fun. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ I think Ms. Fries should win this for her class she does so much with her money for us. I know she would come up with great tools for teaching. ”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“ Ms. Fries would be the best for this award she does so many things for us. She makes learning fun. ”
~ Anonymous

Integrity

“ Ms. Fries is the greatest teacher she is there for everyone not just her students. She does so many great things for us and makes learning so much fun the projects we do are awesome. ”
~ Anonymous

Integrity

“ I would love to see Ms. Fries win this award she does so much for her students, she spends a lot of her own money on teaching supplies, snacks, rewards and holiday party supplies. She is very loving and caring teacher not only to her students but also her co- workers. She is a pleasure to be with, the students love her and they even come back and visit her when they more on to High School. ”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“ Where do I begin Ms. Fries is the best Teacher she so deserves to win this award for her students and classroom Ms. Fries teaches ESE Students her love for them is so awesome and they love her so much. She does so many things for them they have reward parties, snacks every day they earn chances during the week and then have a treasure box at the end of the week. She is so creative in teaching and spends her money on teaching supplies to make this all happen. I would love to see her receive this award. She is the best of the best.... ”
~ Anonymous

Integrity

“Because Mrs. Fries is a very giving teacher and spends so much of her own money for rewards and incentives for her students.”
~ Diana Brammer

Service

“ I would love to see Ms. Fries receive this award It would be nice to see a Ms. Fries get back she is always giving not only to her students but her staff and her co-workers, She cares so much and loves her job, it shows with every thing she does.. ”
~ Anonymous



Michelle Fulkerson – Fairhope Intermediate School (Fairhope, AL)

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Service

“ She is a Special Ed. teacher. Her students have a lot of special needs & school supplies that she has to buy with her own money because there is no budget allotted for the things she needs. This year she is in need of a crib for a 4th grader. ON Saturday mornings she visits yard sales looking for anything her students can use to help then learn. Average burn out rate for Sp. Ed. teachers is 7 yrs. Michelle has been teaching for 17 years. ”
~ Renee Jackson

Responsibility

“ Mrs. Fulkerson is an outstanding special education teacher. She is able to teach children that some have said could not be taught. There is no such thing as a small accomplishment for her students. I know that she personally purchases a lot of specially needed supplies for her classroom. Her students require much more than the normal classroom. She very much deserves this award. ”
~ John Jackson



Cirt Gill – Weaver Academy (Greensboro, NC)

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Service

“ Mr. Gill is the Music Production teacher at Weaver Academy of Performing Arts. Not only is Mr. Gill's loyalty to his students always evident, he also wants his students to know the impact they can have on others in the community with the skills that they have. Each year, he spearheads a project with his students to help prevent bullying. The students write a children's book about bullying, have it illustrated by art students, then produce a narrative CD with sound effects and music. The students then visit elementary schools and present their books. The books remain at the schools where young students can follow along with the book using headphones to listen to the CD. This is a community service project and all the books are donated to the elementary schools. Mr. Gill is always showing commitment to his students and strives to improve conditions in the classroom. On a daily basis he deals with old equipment and holds his breath each day he enters the room and turns on his music production equipment, hoping it will work again that day. In order to raise funds for any classroom supplies and equipment, he heads up a booster club and organizes fundraising events. This, of course is time spent in addition to his time in the classroom. Also, outside of school hours, he leads his students in supporting the other departments in the school with their concerts and performances by running the sound board with his advanced students and recording all performances in the school for each of the departments. Mr. Gill's commitment to his students and the community make him very deserving of being recognized as one of the best educators. ”
~ Michele Gorham



Dr. Beth Howard – Glen Iris Elementary School (Birmingham, AL)

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Responsibility

“ Beth is that dedicated teacher that is usually the first one to arrive at her school, and one of the last persons to leave. She has made a lasting impression upon her students year after year, as she regularly gets letters from former students and their parents stating what a 'positive' impact that she has had upon them or their child. She works within a very limited budget, and often purchases supplies, foods, etc, for her class out of her own pocket, while raising (2) children of her own as a single parent. Beth is a very impressive person, woman, and educator, and would make a very honorable recipient of this award. ”
~ Rick Parker



Donald Johnson – Jones High School (Orlando, FL)

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Responsibility

“ Mr. Johnson deserves to win simply because: he believes. He believes that every one of his students is capable of learning, regardless of disability or disadvantage. Doing double duty as both a math and physics teacher at Jones High, Mr. Johnson's manner of teaching makes it easy for even the most challenged students to understand scientific and mathematic concepts that may have previously seemed beyond their comprehension. With an expectation of excellence, he holds his students accountable for their own individual contribution to the educational process. This has been the foundation upon which Mr. Johnson has based his teaching philosophy, believing that both student and parental accountability is key to turning any mediocre student into a scholar. His ability to relate to youth culture, keen sense of humor and penchant for rewarding students with chocolate treats for work well done also bodes well for his popularity. But Mr. Johnson's dedication does not stop when the school bell rings. After class, he can be found running a G.E.D. class for former inmates and addicts, tutoring middle school children in an effort to help improve their grades or staying up until 3 a.m. burning educational cd's for his students to enhance the lessons he plans to teach his class the next day. His tireless efforts to educate the masses have inspired him to pursue his own Masters in Educational Leadership, in addition to the three other engineering degrees he has already attained. He practices what he preaches and leads by example. He represents everything that is right about the teaching profession and his dedication deserves to be rewarded. ”
~ Alana Peters



Renee Johnson – State Bridge Crossing Elementary School (Alpharetta, GA)

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Responsibility

“ Mrs. Johnson is an excellent teacher. She has a unique balance of being organized, knowledgeable and fun. As an example, when on a field trip with her first grade students, she has them estimating how many rows are on the bus and then how many students are in the bus based on the number in each row…and the kids LOVE it! They are learning but are entertained. Mrs. Johnson could easily have taken a well deserved 30 minute break on the bus, but instead she utilized the time to teach her students (and keep them calm, happy and entertained). She is fantastic and we are fortunate to have her. ”
~ Jodi Healy



Carrie Jones – Hewitt-Trussville High School (Trussville, AL)

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Responsibility

“ Carrie Jones is a caring, organized, humble teacher who works with the exceptional education students that require daily life skills. Although she never complains, Carrie works very long hours in order to provide the care and individual attention that each of her students require. She sincerely loves each child in her care. Carrie ensures the kids have a healthy high school experience by providing opportunities for dances, Special Olympics and classroom parties. She is creative in her teaching and has incorporated horticulture into her program. Carrie has developed a program that provides a successful transition from middle school to high school. In addition, she prepares the student and family with the transition skills for life after high school. The state requires an exceptional amount of paperwork for each student in her class and she is organized and ethical. She works tireless hours and never complains. Carrie is respected and well liked by her peers and is an asset to Hewitt Trussville High School.”
~ Amy Simmons

Service

“Carrie is a Special Teacher that deals with Exceptional children every day not only with our school system but with children from all over the state. She has a Special Olympic programs she puts on yearly with children from the area. She sets up dances and proms, bowling, gardening, and athletic events for the children. I feel that she could certainly use the $500 to help put on all the programs she does. I feel she is very deserving of the money. Carrie is one SPECIAL PERSON herself.”
~ Brenda Talley



Bert Joyner – Falls Road Baptist Church School (Rocky Mount, NC)

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Service

“ Mr. Joyner is a hardworking, dedicated teacher. He is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill. While teaching at Parker Middle School, he became the principle at the founding of the Falls Road 41 years ago and he has remained faithful to the school ever since. Not only does he teach five days a week, he works another job after school and on the weekends. Being 75 years old, he has taught English to so many young people that have been very successful in their college English classes. He also teaches most of the history classes at our school. Mr. Joyner will spend one-on-one time with any student who needs extra help at his own expense. His teaching doesn't just stick with you that school year; it seems as if you will never forget it. During his 41 years of teaching at Falls Road, he has missed a mere 1 day of school! He has earned so much respect throughout the students and staff of the school; there isn't a student in the school that doesn't love Mr. Joyner. We would love to see him finally be recognized for his decades of hard work that he has put into our school.”
~ Tasha Jordan Edwards



Gretchen McNew – Murray F. Barber Middle School (Acworth, GA)

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Responsibility

“ Although my son has only had Mrs. McNew for a few months so far this year, her impact on him has been tremendous. My son has Asperger's Syndrome and has struggled for years to keep pace in his social and emotional development with his peers, and at times his self confidence has suffered because of it. But since beginning the school year with Mrs. McNew I have seen a great improvement in my son's maturity, self discipline, confidence, as well as in his day to day behavior. Her enthusiasm for teaching and the way she connects with the students in a caring and honest way creates an atmosphere where children are able to excel and to believe in themselves and their abilities. In the past my son has passed up some opportunities to participate in activities at school due to his social awkwardness, but just this morning I dropped him off early at school so he could interview for a position on the morning news team. Applying for the news team was his idea and he followed through with the requirements as needed. He wrote a very good application letter about why he wanted to be on the news team. Making friends, working as a member of a team, and contributing to something positive and constructive were some of the reasons he provided. And I feel many of these new 'goals' stem from the social skills and priorities Mrs. McNew has helped him to better understand this year. Often times, as a parent of a special needs student your hopes are dampened by the things that challenge your child and you worry they may never master well enough to become an independent adult. Mrs. McNew has in many ways helped restore my hope for my son's long-term achievement. Mrs. McNew is continually building her students up for future success and I feel very lucky to have her influence in my son's life. ”
~ Crystal Miron



Samantha Meyers – Oak View Elementary School (Simpsonville, SC)

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Teamwork

“ My daughter was diagnosed with ADD last year and when we went to her teacher to let her know, she lacked any interest in helping our child, but did have the courtesy meeting to hear our concerns....a meeting that took less than 15 minutes . This year we have Miss Meyers, and when I asked to schedule an appointment to see what we could do to help my daughter, I was completely taken by surprise. Not only was she willing to meet with me, but she had done research, found books for all of us to read (including herself), and had a couple of exercises to try at home and at school with my daughter. She included my daughter in the plan and let her pick approaches to her ADD that she was interested in doing. She asked her when she felt she struggled to pay attention in class and found a way to help bring back her focus. What I thought would be a another quick 15 minute courtesy meeting, turned out to be a well planned, thought-out meeting, which made me realize that this year was going to be a great year for my daughter! We feel blessed to have a teacher that values her students they way she does. Thank you Miss Meyers!!!!!! ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

“ Ms Meyers is an energetic teacher. She thinks outside the box. She has traveled the world, teaching for a year in Africa. She brings her experiences into the classroom. She keeps her children interested in learning. Always smiling! I wish I had a teacher like her in the forth grade! ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

“She has made a difference in my child this year. She calls me when there is something to discuss...not just email she’s helped my daughter seems she really cares about being a teacher not just a job for her. She really does deserve this honor not many teachers truly take time with children anymore. My daughter had an asthma attack at school she called to check on her also was excited to tell her that same day she was voted student council for her class first year ever for this. Leeanna has never wanted to do that before Miss Myers has been a blessing to me and my daughter.”
~ Rita Barbee



Alphonso Murray – Hertford County Early College School (Ahoskie, NC)

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Service

“ We nominate Mr. Alphonso Murray as our favorite teacher. He is our barber instructor, entrepreneur and a barber educator. He is so deserving of this award ($500) and would put the money toward much needed supplies and possibly take the whole class to a hair show in Atlanta Georgia. He is an advocate for his students who need more than he can give. He differentiates his teaching method, using both new technology and traditional. Mr. Murray goes beyond his responsibilities to ensure his students are not only learning the required barber curriculum, but also social skills as well. And I think that he should be recognized because he has a caring attitude and a love for learning, as well as knowledge. He knows how to discipline and handle classroom management techniques. He is always in the classroom on time and ready to teach. Mr. Murray's attitude is warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring. With these qualities, he is known to stay after school and make himself available to students and parents whenever we need him. Mr. Murray always starts with a smile and ends with a laugh! We have so much material to cover and so many hours to put in before completing our barber curriculum. Therefore, he presents material in an enthusiastic manner and instils a hunger in all students to learn more and more by keeping up with the newest barber and stylist trends. He asks verbal questions frequently to make sure that we are following along and understanding concepts so no one is left behind. Mr. Murray keeps us motivated with varied, lively approaches, never a dull moment in the classroom. All of our theory and practical classwork is exciting and fun. His instructions are clear and precise. He participates in all of our hands-on activities during clinic time. He is always positive, never a negative attitude. If we have questions, he always answers them and never thinks it is a stupid question or idea. Our teacher connects with us as one big happy family. He instils in us the rapport, good habits and practice makes perfect and laying a good foundation for being a successful barber or barber stylist. He is trustworthy, dependable, honest and a man of his word. Mr. Murray teaches us that our attitude is one of the strongest marketing tools that we possess. The other is our personality. And our attitude affects other people and the way in which we view life in general. A positive attitude generates a positive response in those we meet everyday. In addition, Mr. Murray is very concerned about his students and his students' concerns, whether it is about a student classwork other than his or a student family matter. In other words, Mr. Murray is very supporting to his students whether it is physically, mentally, emotionally or financially. Mr. Murray is an all-around, second-to-none, outstanding teacher. He really deserves to win the $500 because he shows integrity, high responsibility and great leadership. He can recognize all of his students by their names whenever he meets them in the hall during class changing time. Mr. Murray has a compassion for teamwork, he takes time to make sure that the whole class is working as a team and he enjoys helping students succeed. We sincerely hope that you can recognize our barber instructor, Mr. Murray, as one of the best of the best! ”
~ Gabriel Clemons, Mary Mann & Carol Freeman



Carolyn Neill – Lee High School (Huntsville, AL)

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Integrity

“ Carolyn Neill teaches business education and is the most dedicated teacher I know. This is her sixth year teaching at Lee High School and student learning is her first priority. In her book, she always puts students first. She coaches the swim/dive team, sponsors tennis, Young Life and FBLA. She is also part of the prestigious Teacher Leader Network for Huntsville City Schools that is helping to change our school system for the better by demanding integrity in every aspect of the schools. Carolyn is always the first to help with any project and is well respected by all her colleagues. She is also well-liked and respected by students. All the students at Lee know that they can count on Ms. Neill if they need anything. Our school system cannot afford to replace all of Carolyn's seven-year-old computers in her classroom. She has tried to no avail. If she had new computers in her classroom, all the students in her classroom could have a working computer. No teacher deserves this grant more than Miss Carolyn Neill. Your contribution to her classroom would be a contribution to help the best teacher reach more and more students at Lee High School. ”
~ Michelle Sisson



Lynn Newman – Charles Towne Montessori School (Charleston, SC)

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Responsibility

“Ms. Lynn is kind, understanding, and really fun. She makes lessons really exciting! She makes school very interesting. ”
~ Annalise, 10 years old

Teamwork

“ Ms. Lynn engages my son on a daily basis with new lessons and the ability to learn beyond his years. He is required to utilize cursive writing in his journal book and at age 6 is also required to write in full sentences. Each day my son reminds me of the lessons I learned in Elementary school. Lessons I did not learn until I was at least two years older than him. ”
~ Nanci Kestenbaum

Service

“ Ms. Lynn Newman is a mentor and guide to children from age 6-12. She is supportive and calm and offers guidance and instruction to 34 children each day. ”
~ Susan Burkhardt

Service

“ Ms. Lynn is one of the moist dedicated and devoted teachers I have ever met; she loves our children. She believes in every single child in her classroom and supports them individually in their needs. She motivates them to give their best every day and makes them feel valued for who they are, besides teaching them the curriculum. We trust her 100%. Ms. Lynn represents everything parents can possible asks for in a teacher. She is very, very special and deserves this recognition. ”
~ Carola Neumann

Service

“ We nominate Ms. Lynn Newman of Charles Towne Montessori School to receive the funding for classroom supplies. Ms. Lynn provides wonderful hands on learning for our elementary children. For example, she guided the children in creating a vegetable garden that is used to provide lessons in botany. She also fosters the children in learning basic research as they take samples, collect data, study and report their findings. Ms. Lynn is great at providing lessons and also showing the kids how to check their own work to allow them to be self-sufficient. Ms. Lynn has very high expectations and the kids are keen to ensure that they meet the daily academic challenges that she provides. The kids enjoy the hands on experiments that make learning subjects that are typically challenging, such as physics, easy. Ms Lynn could use the funding to purchase materials such as items that would be used for physics lessons or even chemistry. Ms. Lynn provides excellent service to our young people through hands on learning, and they are certain to become wonderful, productive members of our society. Please give Ms. Lynn the funding to bring more opportunities into the classroom for the children to continue to thrive. ”
~ Tammy Simpo



Cynthia Norman – Fletcher Elementary School (Fletcher, NC)

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Teamwork

“ Ms. Norman has obviously done some extraordinary things in her classroom. My daughter was writing and identifying the letters of the alphabet after only a couple of weeks of instruction. She knew the days of the week, the months of the calendar and sings songs all the time that she has learned in the classroom focused on learning concepts. We are 7 weeks into the school year and she is already composing/writing sentences. As a parent and educator myself I am extremely impressed with my daughter's learning progress. ”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“ I would like to nominate Mrs. Cynthia Norman for the 2011 Tribute to Teachers Award. My son started kindergarten this year and was very excited to be starting school. Two months prior to the start of school, our lives took a tailspin and I became a single father left to raise my son all on my own. It certainly has been a transition period for both my son and I, but I feel as if Mrs. Norman has helped my son transition smoothly with starting kindergarten and all of the other changes my son is having to come to terms with in his personal life. Mrs. Norman understands the situation and has helped me with talking about what it best for my son and what I need to be helping him with at home. I feel as if Mrs. Norman is worthy of this award because in just the past 6 weeks since school has started I have seen so much progression with my son and his vocabulary, and writing and comprehension skills. Please award Mrs. Norman this honor as it could be used in so many ways in the classroom to benefit all children. ”
~ Eddie Bradley



James Palmer – Allatoona High School (Acworth, GA)

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Service

“ Mr. Palmer deserves to win this tribute because he is by far the most amazing teacher I've ever had. As a dedicated violinist of 8 years and counting, I've gone through many different orchestra teachers, but none can compare to Mr. Palmer. He doesn't just teach notes and rhythms, but styles and techniques that can be used throughout a student's musical career. Not only that, but I've learned valuable life lessons and have received much fatherly advice from him. He's the type of teacher that's always there for you, no matter what. If you've had a bad day, he'll always give you a hug and try to help you with whatever you're dealing with. Mr. Palmer is a great role model in a program we have at my school called Sources of Strength. This program recognizes teachers whom a student can go to for anything and talk to when they are feeling depressed or having suicidal thoughts. I cannot begin to describe how much of a difference Mr. Palmer has made in my life. To put it shortly, I was anorexic and it went unnoticed for a long time. But when I got to high school last year, my world seemed to shatter with the news that I was being sent to a mental hospital. Mr. Palmer encouraged me to get better and be healthy, and made sure that I was doing alright with my treatment all along. He truly cares about each and every one of his students like they are his own children. He deserves this tribute because not only is he an amazing orchestra teacher, but a wonderful, caring, big-hearted person. The instruments he buys for school-use cost thousands of dollars, so he definitely could use some money to help out with the cost of the program. Mr. Palmer also has to support a family of four: his wife, his daughter, his mentally disabled son, and himself. As we all know, that is quite difficult in this economy, especially on a teacher’s salary. All I ask is that you take the time to please consider my favorite teacher for this gracious tribute; it would mean the world. ”
~ Emily Gibson

Integrity

“ Mr. Palmer has been my orchestra director for 3 years now and he genuinely cares for each one of his students. He not only teaches us about music, but takes his lessons and applies them to every day life, preparing each of us for our futures. I know that I can always talk to him about anything. Just the other day i was trying to decide if i should continue dancing in college, and he compared my experience with his in music. He helps me whenever i need him and i know everyone else in my class would say the same. He takes his job very seriously, but keeps in mind that we are still in high school and want to have fun. He makes learning a joy and would use $500 to help even more advance what he can do in the classroom. ”
~ Taylor Smolen

Teamwork

“ Mr. Palmer always is outgoing and makes the classroom fun. He's also serious and wants us to be more than perfect. Ops, forgot to mention, he is the orchestra teacher at Allatoona High School. But everywhere we go related to orchestra and not related to orchestra, us, his students always here how lucky we are to have Mr. Palmer as our teacher. But I also think Mr. Palmer is lucky to have us as his students, I mean, he tells us everyday how lucky he is. This is just our way of saying how lucky we are to be Mr. Palmer's students. We Love You Mr. Palmer!!! <3 ”
~ Alexandria Sirmons



Tiffany Pankey – Middle Fork Elementary School (Walkertown, NC)

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Service

“ Miss Pankey has been nominated for Teacher of the Year for each of the 5 years she has been teaching. Her peers, students and students' parents recognize her commitment, love, and concern for her co-workers as well as those she is privileged to teach. Parents would receive periodic personal phone calls to assure them of their child's performance, not only to inform them of negative behavior. She understands the diversity of her classroom students and tries to communicate with each parent by using their native language as much as possible. You can sense the connection she has with her students and their parents. Tiffany is very 'technology savvy' and is willing to help others with the latest classroom additions. She attempts to do everything that is asked of her while also pursuing a graduate degree and being active in her community. She, like many of her peers, spend money to make sure the students have supplies, snacks and even money for other activities. Middle Fork is considered a Title I school and this $500 would tremendously assist them in reaching at-risk students. ”
~ Debra



Lisa Rogers – Apple Valley Middle School (Hendersonville, NC)

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Integrity

“ Mrs. Rogers has been teaching for years at Apple Valley Middle. She used to be a resource teacher and now she teaches language arts. She wants to add e-readers to her classroom library so that students can download books from the public library. She is awesome. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Mrs. Rogers is the best reading teacher ever. She wants us to have E-books to use in the classroom. She wants to get the Kubos e-readers so we can download books from the public library and read them. I did not used to like to read, but Mrs. Rogers makes it fun. ”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“ Mrs. Rogers works hard to help her students learn. She deserves the $500 because she could buy E-readers so that her students could download books from the public library for check out. This would help her students to be able to read even more. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Mrs. Rogers is wanting to get Kindles for her students to use in class. She would like to have them available for her students to check out. Many of her kids would never be able to afford to have them and she wants to give them an opportunity to be able to use this technology. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

“ Lisa is an amazing teacher. She is well planned and creative. Lisa thinks of ways to help the kids understand. She able to foresee their misconceptions and really break it down for them. She did the same for me 8 years ago, when I was a first year teacher. Lisa shares with other teachers frequently. ”
~ Baranda Hagen

Responsibility

“ Ms Rogers is an excellent teacher who is always looking for innovative ways to connect with her students and incorporate new technologies into her classroom. ”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“ Mrs. Rogers is working to incorporate technology in her classroom. She would be using these funds to purchase e-readers for the classroom. With budget cuts in our area, this would greatly help. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Mrs. Rogers is awesome! She would like to buy Kindles for our classroom. She needs the $500 to do that! ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Mrs. Rogers has been teaching for 19 years at Apple Valley. This is a school with a large number of low-income students. Mrs. Rogers truly loves her students and tells them that each day. She always has a smile on her face and is a positive role model to all students and staff. Mrs. Rogers would be the best person to receive $500 to use in her classroom. ”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“ Lisa has more than 18 years experience in the classroom, has completed two masters degrees and is pursuing her doctorate. She has a passion for helping students with special needs and is dedicated to helping those who struggle the most achieve the best. She's incredible! ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Lisa is a caring, dedicated teacher giving her times and efforts to help students with disabilities be successful at school and life. ”
~ Karma

Responsibility

“ Great teacher interested in taking kids into the 21st Century.”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Mrs. Rogers could buy an iPad for her class. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Being an ESL teacher, I have worked with many teachers throughout the years. Nobody has cared for my students more than Lisa Rogers! She always does the best she can with the materials she has. However, due to budget cuts, those materials are very scarce. With this money and technology, she would be able to introduce our underprivileged students with technology and opportunities that they have never had and never get at home. Most of the students in her classes are not exposed to books at home. This would give her the opportunity she has been searching for to open the world reading to students and improve their literacy skills to ensure success for their future! ”
~ Kami Mears

Teamwork

“ Mrs. Rogers is the best teacher at what she does. The kids love to be in her class and she lets them think outside the box. What a great person and a loving wife to see her enjoy the work she does with her kids. Mrs. Rogers always makes sure her kids are up on the best way to learn. SHE IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!”
~ Stephen Rogers

Responsibility

“ She is a wonderful 6th grade Language Arts teacher. She works to accommodate the diverse needs of her students to ensure their success in reading, writing, and comprehension. ”
~ Marsha Justice

Teamwork

“ She goes ABOVE and BEYOND. She loves her students and is an extraordinary teacher. She would do AMAZING things with this money to help educate and teach her EC students. ”
~ Theresa Crow

Teamwork

“ Mrs. Rogers is unyielding in her efforts to get students to read! She provides them with every opportunity in her reach to grab a book and get sucked into the story. These e-readers would allow her students more access to a variety of books and engage them in the 21st century skills they are accustomed. ”
~ Jennifer Axtell

Teamwork

“ Mrs. Rogers is awesome and could use this to buy Kindles for the classroom.”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“ She cares deeply about her students and their success and she deserves it.”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Mrs. Rogers does so much for her students. She has already encouraged my child to read, which we have never been able to do. He now won't put a book down. It is so amazing how this one teacher has given my child so much. I know she has talked about being able to afford to get Kubos or Kindle readers for her students so that they could check them out and learn to use this new technology. She is unable to buy any at this time due to the budget and she has not receive a pay raise in four years. She would definitely use the money to provide more for her students. I think she is the most deserving teacher. Please give Mrs. Rogers the money to buy E-readers for the students. Thank you. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Mrs. Rogers brings thoughtful and engaging lessons and activities into her studies, and the opportunity to purchase additional technology tools for her students use would further these efforts.”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

"Mrs. Rogers is an exceptional teacher. She is very dedicated to her students and her classroom. She is creative, intuitive, and insightful to the needs of her students. She works with her whole team providing support and leadership.”
~ Anonymous

Service

"Lisa is an excellent teacher and needs any extra supplies the $500.00 could help her do a better job.”
~ Anonymous

Service

"Because she is a very nice teacher and I want to save money for our school and help trees from destruction of the forest and the woods! Mrs. Rogers could use the money because she spends her own money on crayons and a lot more because some boys always end up breaking them. Mrs. Rogers painted her wall light green for her birthday but I don’t want to say how old she is! O.K. I will tell you the first number, it starts with a four. ”
~ Baleigh

Teamwork

"We are wanting to win to help save trees.”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"For everybody in our class room to get better education.”
~ Anonymous

Service

"For everybody to be happy and learn a better education.”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Lisa continues to use her own or family money in her classroom to enhance the learning environment. It would be great for her to be recognized and to win $500.00.”
~ Sandi Rogers

Teamwork

"She is awesome and so she can get the tools she needs. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

"Because we could use it for saving trees and animals’ habitats.”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Because she needs some tools for her classroom. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Because she needs tolls in her classroom to help students. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"She is going to buy us Kindles for us to read instead of wasting paper. ”
~ Dylan

Service

"Because we could use it for important things that she might have to do. ”
~ Sara

Service

"I think we should win because I think Mrs. Rogers is awesome and tells us about her childhood and what happened and she always tells great stories too! ”
~ Jet

Integrity

"Kind, nice, sweet and very caring for us. ”
~ Sunshine

Integrity

"She loves us all.”
~ Lovet

Integrity

"I love her and she loves everybody else too in that class. ”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

"She trusts what we do and what she does to us we trust!”
~ Rachel

Responsibility

"She loves us for who we are and how we are and what we do. ”
~ Love

Teamwork

"Because she is awesome and if she wins, she is going to buy Kindles for the classroom.”
~ Anonymous

Service

"She cares for her students and makes learning fun. She said she would buy Kindles for the classroom if she won too. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Mrs. Rogers is awesome because she is going to buy us Kindles with the $500 prize money, but if she wins the $2,000 grand prize, she is going to buy us an iPad for the classroom.”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

" She is really kind and she always shows us respect and I hope that she would get the $500 or $2,000. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"So far Mrs. Rogers is the best thing that had ever happened to me. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"She has an incredible rapport with her students. She is a 6th generation teacher. The students love her, as she is so very gifted in her area of expertise. I can’t imagine a better teacher. She is also the most incredible mother and 1st teacher to her own children. She spends unbelievably long hours at school so that her own children don’t suffer. She is a full-time mom after hours, but never misses a beat with her middle school kids or her own. Everybody loves Mrs. Rogers. She has two Masters Degrees and lives and breathes to be the best teacher to her students. ”
~ Dianne L. Haynes

Teamwork

"she is cool and very fun when it comes up to fun and exciting person I hope she wins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $500 OR $$$$$$$$$$$$$2000.”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Because Mrs. Rogers wants to get us Kindles.”
~ Alex

Teamwork

"I think she should win because she is going to use the money in the right way, by getting us school things.”
~ Anonymous

Service

"She is an incredible teacher who cares deeply about her students”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Because Mrs. Rogers is so cool and great and we are trying to get Kindles for everyone. I really want her to win for the classroom. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Because Mrs. Rogers is so cool and great. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Because she is the best teacher in the world. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Because she is so good to the school and she deserves it fully. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Because she is such a good teacher and our class really wants to win some Kindles!!!!!!!”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

"Lisa is a dedicated teacher who spends an incredible amount of time and energy on her students. She always wants to provide them the best examples of the world in her classroom and usually spends her personal money every month to make this happen. Lisa is truly motivated and absolutely loves her profession and believes in educating children to their fullest potential. ”
~ Gina Perry

Teamwork

"Because she needs tools for her classroom and to use for other things to help her. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"So she can buy tools for her classroom and her students. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"To help her classroom.”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"My teacher, Mrs. Rogers, should win $500 because she is nice, caring and she is a great reading teacher and she makes reading fun. You can go to her if you need help and she will help you. When you are around her she makes you happy and you just have a great time when you are around her. ”
~ Emily

Teamwork

"Because she needs tools to help her in her classroom.”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"I love her because she is nice.”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Because she is so cool.”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Because she is such a good teacher and supporter to everyone.”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Because she is a very good teacher to the school. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

"Because she is such a good teacher and a good person to the world and also to the school at Apple Valley.”
~ Anonymous

Integrity

"Having known Lisa since she was born, I have watched her develop into a wonderful giving person. This is reflected in more than her classroom, it is seen in and through her professional and personal life, from her school, students, parents and colleagues to her spiritual life and service at her church. I have met few people as dedicated to their calling in life as Lisa is. Not only does she take extra time for her students, but also uses her own finances to help them achieve a higher level performance and achievement. Lisa is among the very best of our educators, a love gift to us all. ”
~ Tom Norton

Teamwork

"Lisa is a leader in the 6th grade LA program. She inspires her students to be their best and to never give up on their goal.”
~ Anonymous



Maritza Rosado – Clayton Middle School (Clayton, NC)

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Service

“Ms. Rosado works tirelessly on behalf of her students. She makes it her mission to do everything she can to help them learn and grow both as students and people. She also devotes her free time to work closely with parents to be sure students have the support they need outside class and to help parents understand their children’s' needs and circumstances. Ms. Rosado makes excellent use of all resources available so any extra funds will be used to help improve the classroom experience for her students.”
~ John Gross

Service

“ I believe Ms. Rosado should win the $500 for her classroom because she cares about us and how we use technology. She would use the money to get the materials we need. In this bad economy we can really use extra help. That's why I nominate her, because she cares about our education. ”
~ Angel Cruz

Responsibility

“Ms Rosado should win the $500 because she is very reliable and responsible. She cares about our education and future. I hope that Ms Rosado wins the $500.”
~ Lily Tran

Service

“ I nominate Ms. Rosado to win the $500 because we really need more materials to learn more about the subjects in school to prepare us for the future. Ms. Rosado cares for us and would need the money to buy us more materials for technology. ”
~ Juan Cruz

Responsibility

“ I nominate Ms. Rosado to win the $500 because she buys us supplies for our school. ”
~ Miguel Suarez

Service

“ I would like Ms. Rosado to win the $500 because she would buy school supplies and books to get better at reading and writing English. She cares a lot about use and she want use to learn and she cares for our education ”
~ Oscar Valadez

Teamwork

“Ms. Rosado is an educator who makes a difference in the lives of her students everyday. She is innovative, creative, and caring. She makes instruction relevant, incorporates the latest technology, and goes above and beyond the call of duty to reach her students.”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“Ms. Rosado is tireless in her efforts to meet the individual learning needs of all her students. She comes into work excited about what she worked on during the night or weekend, eager to see if it will engage her students. She is a technology leader as well, implementing a 1:1 iPad initiative in one of her classes and constantly using 21st Century Skills to teach her students to learn, create, collaborate, problem-solve, and reflect on this process. Ms. Rosado is a leader in attitude, practice, and effectiveness! Thank you, Ms. Rosado for caring so much and for seeing students as more than test scores, while ensuring they are learning.”
~ Stephen Baker

Service

“As a co-worker of Ms. Rosado, I watch her work tirelessly for her students as well as for the faculty at Clayton Middle School. She spends time and energy outside of the school day in order to create innovative and developmentally appropriate activities for not just her students but for all students at CMS. Ms. Rosado is in and out of classrooms, offering to help with class activities and paperwork. She is a blessing to our school, and we are lucky to have her!!! The service she provides our school is invaluable! ”
~ Abbey Heilmann

Service

“Ms. Rosado is a carrying individual, and she advocates for our Hispanic population. She gives with her heart and has the best interest of her students in mind at all times.”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Ms. Rosado gives freely of her time and resources to assist the ESL population in our school. She also helps coordinate a summer reading program to ensure students have the opportunity to practice their reading skills during the summer. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Ms. Rosado is by far one of our most dedicated teachers. She has gone above and beyond daily! Over the summer she did everything in her power to offer our community a summer reading program. She even offered to not receive pay so that her teachers would be compensated! She is our ESL coordinator, her dedication to these students and their families sets the bar very high. She offers her knowledge and service to all staff and parents. She is an exemplary school and district employee and would put the $500 to great use for our students! ”
~ Cheryl Mason

Service

“Mrs. Rosado never hesitates to work with ESL students before, during and after school.”
~ Cathy Smith

Service

“ Ms. Rosado is the definition of a dedicated educator. No matter the hour, she is constantly looking for new ways to reach students. Her focus is always on student growth and meeting the needs of every child. Whether she is personally making sure a student gets a ride to or from school, translating to a parent, working one-on-one with a child, or offering her room for student interventions, Ms. Rosado is endless educating both students and her co-workers. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

“I feel this teacher should receive the $500.00 for her class because she goes over and beyond for her class. She takes her students under her wing and cradles them as if they are her babies. She is involved with her students in school as well as out. Her day never ends when it comes to her students and their families. This is why I feel Mrs. Rosado should receive this gift. ”
~ Diedra Jones (Dee)

Service

“Mrs. Rosado always puts her students first. Right now she's planning to take some students to a special program on a SATURDAY in Durham, 45 minutes away. She gives freely of her personal time to help her students.”
~ Greer Suggs

Teamwork

“Ms. Rosado is very creative and very dedicated to all students. She really cares about her responsibilities and regularly works with all classroom teachers to create an atmosphere of success for students who otherwise would get left behind. She LOVES her job and you can tell.”
~ Jennifer Jacobson

Teamwork

“Mrs. Rosado does so much for not only the ESL students in our school but for all students. She helps to train teachers on strategies that can be used for all students and facilitates technology that can be used in the classrooms to help reinforce skills and promote 21st century skills. She is always willing to assist a teacher even if she has to give of her own time outside of school hours to do so. She is loved by the students and parents as well as respected by all. She is very deserving of this honor.”
~ Barbara Jennings

Responsibility

“ Mrs. Rosado is one of the most important people in our school. She works tirelessly for her students and everyone else's as our ESL teacher and is a powerful resource for help and strategies in working with this unique population. She is respected and appreciated by all of her students. ”
~ Evan Dempster

Service

“ Mrs. Rosado consistently goes the extra million miles for the kids she works with. How she is able to do so much is a mystery to me but she is the best thing a lot of those kids have in their lives. She is extremely deserving of this honor. ”
~ Joy Button

Teamwork

“ Ms. Rosado should win this because she would spend the money in a way that no others could. She is beyond creative! She truly understands children and how they think. She will break topics down for them so that they can understand it. At the same time, she will then build upon that information. Her students do not have a bad thing to say about her and her peers love her! Not only is she a wealth of knowledge but she is willing to help out whenever she can. She is always there for her students for whatever they need and the same goes for her colleagues. ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

“She works very hard to help the student and work with the parents so they understand what is happening with their child. She take up time working one on one to help the students having trouble. She is a great person to work with and helps out in any class room that needs extra help. With her the students always come first.”
~ Anonymous

Service

“She does a wonderful job reaching students who don't really want to be in school. She definitely goes the extra mile.”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

“ I have worked with Ms. Rosado for several years, and she would use the money to help her ESL students learn to speak and read better, as well as gain access to more technology. She is great! ”
~ Derek Mellott



Catherine Ryan – Belle Terre Elementary School (Palm Coast, FL)

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Integrity

“ Catherine Ryan is a 9 year veteran teacher at the elementary and middle school level. She works tirelessly in her inclusion classroom getting children that, more often then not, can hardly read, and by the end of school year most if not all of her kids are at their grade's reading level. Her standardized test scores are consistently the highest on her grade level and she has some of the best testing scores in her entire school. Last year Catherine was awarded the 2010 Reading Teacher of the Year for Flagler County, and this year she was named State of Florida Reading Teacher of the Year. Catherine's work inside the classroom speaks for itself. However, it’s the work she does outside of the classroom that really shines. Catherine and a few other teachers at her school have started an after school walk/run program for girls to promote fitness and provide a mentoring option to girls with low self-esteem. Catherine also coaches a women's softball team for teachers in the local community recreation league. Catherine works hard in the classroom and works hard in the community to promote high achievers in learning. ”
~ Brun Hudson



John Sammons – Greenbrier Intermediate School (Chesapeake, VA)

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Teamwork

“Dedication, graciousness, remarkable compassion, and unsurpassed devotion for others are the hallmarks of John Sammons’ career as an educator and as an individual. As the Technology Integration Specialist at Greenbrier Intermediate School, John has championed the integration of technology, with immeasurable expertise, into all parts of the school. He has been instrumental in keeping the faculty and staff updated on the most current technological devices, including SMARTBoards, document cameras, and laptops for use in the classrooms. Using energy efficient solar panels, rain barrels, and a working model of the watershed, John, with the help and support of his colleagues and other community members, has developed and continues to maintain an outdoor classroom to further extend opportunities for the students to engage in real-world experiences. His involvement in school activities not only includes creating and facilitating technology lessons with remarkable competence, but he also selflessly volunteers on the Parent/Teacher Association; he has designed and developed the school’s recycling program, for which the school has received numerous accolades; he devotes his spare time to maintaining the school grounds as the school’s GREEN Team coordinator, for which the school has also received consecutive awards; and he further promotes his high ideals as a role model. John’s devotion to everyone who has the privilege of being his colleague and/or friend is a reflection of his own exemplary core values. John is a man of graciousness and integrity, and with sincere admiration and respect, I submit this nomination of John Sammons for the RBC Bank Tribute to Teachers award.”
~ Karen Arnett

Service

“ When walking through the halls of Greenbrier Intermediate School, you see evidence of John Sammons around every corner. The showcase in the front hall is full of First Lego League trophies won by his students. Each of his teams, throughout the years, learns about teamwork and servicing others by giving back to the community by doing projects. As you look through the back door to the playground, you see a rain garden, planted and cared for by John's students, seven days a week, 360 days of the year. The rain garden fixed the problem of flooding on their playground. Further down the hall you find the entrance to 'The Secret Garden', another Sammons’ project. The students visit the quiet outdoor classroom to enjoy a book while observing the coy, turtles, birds, worms, and other wildlife. They perform water quality tests in the pond to make sure the conditions are perfect for the aquatic life. They compost leftovers from lunch and tend to their worm compost as well. Solar panels, light sensors in the bathrooms, recycling posters and recycling containers, are all evidence of projects that John's students have been involved in as they give back to their community. During one of his recent lessons, the students conducted experiments in the school's cafeteria. They were finding out how the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer is affected by the opening of the doors while preparing breakfast and lunch throughout the day. They analyzed the data they collected using probeware and quickly began brainstorming ways to help out in the cafeteria. It won't be long until there is more evidence of Sammons’ commitment, guidance, and leadership in the school. When talking with John, he is quick to give credit to others. He is a very quiet, humble, and caring teacher. He leaves a lasting impression on all of the students at Greenbrier Intermediate as they move into the middle school, high school, and on into college. The students take with them their love for giving back and servicing others. John is at the school during all hours and on the weekends. He was there at 7:30 a.m. this past Saturday to make sure the technology worked for a Staff Development Class that was offered. He made sure the presenter had everything she needed. This is typical of John as he goes out of his way to offer his service to the Greenbrier staff, to the students, and to the City of Chesapeake. ”
~ Adrienne Sawyer

Teamwork

“ John Sammons, of Greenbrier Intermediate School (GRI) in Chesapeake Virginia has made an exceptionally positive, lasting impact on thousands of students that have passed through the classrooms of GRI these past twenty years. His days often start around 7:15am and often finish between 6pm and 8pm. It would be enough if all he did was be the “IT Guy” at GRI, teaching hundreds of students how to use technology to develop and expand their minds and hearts as well as insuring the technical integrity of the whole school’s teaching environment. But the list of Mr. Sammons’ involvement at school goes far beyond just his “day job”. Mr. Sammons co-leads the school’s First Lego League team. The GRI Lego Team is selected each year from the current 5th grade class and due to Mr. Sammons’ encouragement, teaching, and inspiration year after year, has experienced a long list of success at both the district and state level. He is also an avid proponent of our environment, leading our school’s Green Team and coordination several recycling programs. John also serves as the 2nd Vice President for the school’s PTA because of his belief that the successful education of our children requires an exceptional partnership between the school and the parents. I cannot think of one school activity in the evenings or even on the weekends that he has not participated in during the past 6 years that my children have gone to GRI. Whether it is Panther Pride events such as this year’s 20th Anniversary celebration, fund raising, movie nights, fitness nights, or just plain spending time after school with kids that need just a little more time to get it right, Mr. Sammons is there making a difference and making our community better one child at a time. If he is fortunate enough to be selected for this recognition, he will waste no time in saying it is because of a long list of faculty and staff that have made it easy for him to give so much to our children. But this is a wonderful opportunity for us to recognize Mr. Sammons and say THANK YOU, not just for what you are doing this year, but for what you have done for the past twenty years! ”
~ Ingrid Turner



Xenia Santiago – Charles W. Flanagan High School (Pembroke Pines, FL)

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Service

“ Mrs. Santiago is out of the ordinary! She has honestly changed my life, and I speak with confidence when I say that I am not the only person she has transformed. As the Media Specialist, Leadership Training teacher, Yearbook Class teacher, Student Government Association adviser and National Honor Society adviser Mrs. Santiago goes above and beyond her duties, she sets a new standard. This woman gives her a 101 percent in our school, she gets there bright and early and leaves after everyone is gone, still working. She doesn't just work at a better quality; she also works MORE than everyone else! On top of that, she does it all with a positive attitude! Since the moment I met her, I continue to be amazed by her character and kindness. She has personally taken me to a new level with her lectures but most importantly with her example, her hard work, her excellence, her kindness, her organization and her life. I am, along with dozens (if not hundreds) of students, extremely grateful for everything she has done. I hope that when she wins, which she will, she reads this and forgives me, because I know that no amount of money will every be enough to thank her for the changed she has made in my life. I will never be the same, I see hope in my future, and believe in myself; because someone believed in me first. Mrs. Santiago was that someone. If someone there is someone that needs to be awarded, honored, and thanked is Mrs. Santiago. She is more than a teacher, she is a hero. ”
~ Laura M

Teamwork

“ She is a dedicated teacher who will stop at nothing to have her students succeed and strive for nothing but the best! She has a heart of gold and a lot of determination. She is a great leader to look up to! ”
~ Tess Gonzalez

Service

“ Ms. Santiago goes above and beyond the expectations of a normal teacher. Ms. Santiago is the SGA Advisor, Yearbook Advisor, NHS Advisor, and Media Specialist. Santiago lives and breaths Falcon pride, and is the first person that anyone at Charles W. Flanagan High School can go to for help. I truly believe that Xenia Santiago is the best representation a teacher should be. ”
~ Heather Pena

Responsibility

“ They do everything and any thing for their student! Especially SGA! ”
~ Anonymous

Integrity

“ Ms Santiago is dedicated in everything she does; she never hesitates to stop what she’s doing to help us in Student Government. Ms Santiago is also hard working, she’s the advisor not only for Student Government but as well as the National Honors Society although she is a librarian. I feel she does deserve this award with all the times she stayed after school until 7 or even 8 o’ clock doing extraordinary stuff with Student Government. ”
~ Melissa

Service

“Mrs. Santiago should win $500 for her classroom, because she is not only an outstanding teacher, but also a dedicated, loyal, reliable and life changing teacher. She goes out of her way to be there for her students not only as a teacher and mentor but also as a friend. She is there for any student whether in her classes or not, as well as faculty and staff. She is the go-to person in our school, and for all her hard work i believe she deserves this treat as a token of appreciation.”
~ Daniela

Teamwork

“She is the definition of committed. She works like heavy hours and takes on new challenges everyday. Her initial position of media specialist was expanded when she decided to take over the student government association showing us the path of success and allowing us to place 1st and 2nd in the state on various projects. This year she is really out doing herself taking over the year book committee of the school and designing the best yearbook or school has had to date. This money will ensure to her that the student appreciate her and the her hard work has not gone unnoticed. ”
~ Ryan Hoyos

Integrity

“ This teacher is our SGA teacher and I think she should be nominated because she's helped me grow into the person I am today. She does so much for our school and our students and without her, I honestly don't know where our school would be. She's an amazing teacher on top of all of that and she also juggles our school's homecoming, fundraisers, yearbook/SGA class, and a million other things and she does it well! She should definitely be nominated. ”
~ Anonymous



Kelly Schexnayder – Northeast Middle School (Charlotte, NC )

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Responsibility

" Ms. Schexnayder should definitely win because she makes sure all of her students have what they need to be successful in her classroom. She loves what she does and it comes through with her enthusiasm in her teaching. Ms. Schexnayder treats each student with integrity, and they know she loves each of them. Failure is not an option in her classroom. She pushes her students to do more than they ever thought they could. Ms. Schexnayder has the bar of expectation raised for all. She expects the absolute best of the students and they hear about it when their best is not shown. Ms. Schexnayder shows the students that reading can be fun and enjoyable and gives the students experiences such as Shakespeare in the seventh grade. She often says that students need many different experiences from different perspectives. Ms. Schexnayder makes Language Arts fun. ”
~ Anonymous



Reeshard Scott – Arnold Elementary School (Jonesboro, GA)

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Service

“Mr. Scott has been dedicated to our youth since the time he has entered the profession. He consistently go above and beyond the call of duty every day he comes to work. He is also a dedicated volunteer for metro Atlanta and serve on numerous committees.”
~ Kris Favers

Service

“ With budget cuts and furlows Mr. Scott has had to purchase just about everything for his classroom with his dwindling paycheck. He is an awesome educator and dedicated to the kids and the community! ”
~ Pat Gamble

Service

“ Mr. Scott has done a lot for his students over the year. I watch how he interacts with his students and he is awesome. I also know that despite a shrinking paycheck, due to furloughs and cutbacks, he continues to make sure his students are never without! He is well-deserving of a great nomination ”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“Reeshard has 2 children and a wife of his own. He has to come out of his pocket to purchase printer toner, paper, classroom decor, etc. - This becomes very expensive. Any contribution would not only help Reeshard, it would help is school children and his family. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Hard working and devoted to his students and the community. He works long hours after school to help students and a greater service is with young boys in the community see him as a role model not only for his children, but always giving to others kids as well.”
~ Anonymous

Service

“Mr. Scott is dedicated to his students and his school. He goes above and beyond to give his students everything they deserve. I also find it amazing that he brings outside influences in the school to motivate the kids. Mr. Scott is one of the best teachers in the field.”
~ Adrian

Service

“He is an excellent role model for his kids. He is over the men’s mentoring program and does a lot for the school. ”
~ Telicia Lester

Responsibility

“ Reeshard Scott, has been the best motivator, inspirator, and educator I could have ever asked for out of my sons teacher. He has turned my son's life completely around. I have never seen so much enthusiasm, and effort being shown from any of my children’s previous teachers. My son and I appreciate everything Mr. Scott has taught and shown us. Mr. Scott is truly an outstanding individual. Whether you believe leaders are born or mentored, Reeshard is an acknowledged leader that refuses to accept anything less than accomplishing the task at hand, to help create productive, intelligent, and positive future leaders of America. ”
~ Anonymous

Integrity

“ Mr. Scott TRULY has a heart for children and only wants the best for them. He goes beyond the call of duty to address students’ needs academically and socially. He establishes a rapport with the students where they begin to truly understand that Mr. Scott is cool and only want them to succeed. ”
~ Delisa Woods

Service

“Mr. Reeshard Scott is the most admirable teacher I have encountered. He cares so much for, not only his students, but all students that he sees that needs his tutelage. He is a great motivator and mentor who always encourages personal growth in the classroom and in real life situations for his students. I nominate Mr. Scott for this grant on the basses that he has already been recognized at McGarrah Elementary School and Clayton County for his outstanding work, and his pure passion and pride for making his community the best in the country.”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“ Mr. Scott truly cares for his students. He goes beyond the scope of his duties and cares for the well being of those that have been cast aside and forgotten. He understands the importance of education, not only in the classroom, but in the community and how this approach affects not only his students, but the greater society as a whole. He is also very passionate in his efforts and taps into his own resources or gets creative when he see's an opportunity to enhance his student's learning. A recent example is when he received approval from his school's authority to take a large group of student's to the Georgia Dome in partnership with the Atlanta Falcons to promote physical fitness programs in schools. At the last minute the approval was rescinded because of budget conflicts. Instead of disappointing those kids, he raised the money through family and friends but contributed the majority of the money from his own pocket and secured the buses needed to transport the students to the venue for this very important endeavor. Above and beyond the call of duty! This is only one of the countless examples of his kind deeds and the $500 would be used effectively in his classroom. His kids really could use it! ”
~ Marlon Brooks

Service

“ He is an excellent role model and goes beyond the call of duty to make sure his kids have everything they need to succeed in their studies. ”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“Mr. Scott, should win $500 for the classroom because he goes above and beyond to provide great learning experiences for our children. He brings in community leaders to speak and motive the kids and parents to rise to greater limits. Mr. Scott brings in his personal Apple electronics to expose the children to the latest technology. He gives back on a continuous basis and I'm glad my son is apart of his class. ”
~ Lacretia Webb

Responsibility

“Mr. Scott is not only a great teacher, but a caring one. He takes time out to sit with individual kids in his class who are not up to par, not wanting anyone left behind. He has gone from Home Depot to grocery stores asking for donations such as paper, pencils and other items that his class is in need of. Mr. Scott has gone so far as purchasing a pair of shoes for two kids in his class that was being ridiculed by the other kids. How is that for being someone special. And this is only one example of his care for the class room and the kids.”
~ Dalores A. Nevett

Teamwork

“This is a great teacher who goes above and beyond for his students, as well as his students parents. He deserves to be rewarded.”
~ Shavetta Craft

Responsibility

“He is a true teacher around the clock. He is always thinking of the children and ways to make learning exciting, fun and a non-stop adventure. My son is very impressed with Mr. Scott and notices that he actually cares about what happens to the kids. People always forget that children notice everything even when you are genuine... Mr. Scott is genuine and makes the children feel they are what matters.”
~ Tavia Belton

Responsibility

“I think Mr. Scott should win because he is a nice teacher who teaches us to learn. He teaches math, science, and other subjects, too. Mr. Scott doesn’t yell at kids and sometimes make lessons seem fun.”
~ Tiffany D.

Teamwork

“TO BUY School supplies because we are running out of a lot of supplies i mean other teacher look good with there supplies and everyone is counting on please select him for all of my family members. ”
~ Anthony G. Gonzalez

Teamwork

“ Mr. Scott should win $500 for their classroom because Mr. Scott he teaches what we need to know and give us homework everyday! Sometimes in Friday he gives us 2 or 3 homework to do it at home, to practice for the CRCT! He is a lifeguard to and knows how to swim! That’s why he needs to win $500 for our classroom!! ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ Mr. Scott has done a great job teaching. He could spend some of the money if he wins and we can go on field trip stuff like that. Mr. Scott has given us so many pencils, and papers he could by some more. ”
~ Janae’ Hill



Steve Sigmon – North Henderson High School (Hendersonville, NC)

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Responsibility

“ In the four years that Mr. Sigmon has been the band director at NHHS, he has brought a virtually non-existent band of only 6 members to an award winning band that is over 100 members and growing each year. Once the kids in middle school found out that he was an exceptional teacher he was more students have decided to join the band. He is out with the kids every day as they practice for marching band, and even through the summer when he should be enjoying his time off he is out there working with our kids to help them achieve excellence. He goes above and beyond to help our children succeed. Despite having to overcome budget cuts from the county he has managed to keep the spirits of our students high and make the best of what we have to work with. He has taught our students responsibility and dedication. When other students are getting in trouble at school you can ask around it is not one of the band students. He expects a lot out of the students but that is because he sees the potential they have and he does not want to let their talents go to waste. He is by far one of the best teachers my children have had the pleasure of being taught by. That is why I am nominating Mr. Sigmon for $500 classroom award. ”
~ Rhonda

Integrity

“ Mr Sigmon is the best Marching Band and Concert Band in our country. He spends a lot of his personal time after school and on weekends to be with the band and making sure they are 100%. ”
~ Todd Davidson

Responsibility

“This is the hardest working teacher I know. He is a dedicated instructor to our kids teaching them to become strong independent dedicated students. He spends hours through out the summer and countless hours after school helping them to become the best individual ever. He teaches them, not only music, but how to reach for their highest dreams possible while using outdated instruments on a limited financial budget. He has taken a band of 6 members 4 years ago and grown it to over a 100 members by sheer will power and perseverance. His dedication has helped his bands achieve high honors on competition levels and we are extremely fortunate to have him. This would be a small way of saying 'Thank you' for all he has done.”
~ Stacy Duncan

Teamwork

“ The recent budget cuts have affected many people and many areas in the school system. The band budget was severely cut which means instruments are not being repaired or replaced, music cannot be purchased, etc. Steve Sigmon came to NHHS 4 years ago to a program that was virtually non-existent. Only 6 students were enrolled in band. He has rebuilt this program with his dedication, perseverance and belief that when given the opportunity, nothing is impossible. NHHS Band has grown to 100 students participating in concert, marching, symphonic and jazz bands. They have won 'first place' in numerous marching band competitions over the past three years, and have started this season with first place in their class and overall Grand Champion. The Concert band earned a 'Superior' rating and was the most awarded band at the National Adjudicators Invitational, held by Dixie Classic Festivals in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to their overall rating the band received recognition for having the best Percussion, Trombones and Euphoniums, and Soloist of the entire festival. NHHS Band has made unprecedented progress, and it is due to the leadership of Steve Sigmon. He has made a difference in the lives of each student. They have such respect for their director. He has influenced their lives for the better. He has taught them to believe in themselves and if they work together they can achieve. $500 may not seem like a lot of money to some, but Mr. Sigmon will be most grateful and will stretch out every penny (he's used to doing that!) Thank you for your consideration. ”
~ Julie Singleton

Teamwork

“ The teacher I have selected is Mr. Steve Sigmon. He was hired at North Henderson 4 years ago as the Band Instructor. Our program had fallen to less than 10 members due to lack of interest by the former instructor. When Mr Sigmon joined our team, he made himself known to the Middle School band students by helping in their classes. This made interest grow on the middle school level which in turn kept the interest of students coming to High School. Now, after 4 very successful years our program has grown by leaps and bounds. The program is a multi-award winning group of band loving students. They have shown their accomplishments in multi states. Please consider Mr Sigmon for this award. He and our program deserve all the acknowledgment we can give them. Thank You ”
~ Nancy Fender

Integrity

“Mr. Sigmon’s service to his students is demonstrated daily by his actions to help the students achieve their potential and respect each other by working together toward a mutual goal. He demonstrates his service to teachers by working with all teachers to achieve workable schedules for students and support of athletic events. He promotes teamwork and co-operation within his classroom encouraging students to work together and setting an example by working with his fellow teachers and staff members. Mr. Sigmon’s job does not stop at 3:00 pm or on weekends. His days go well past the end of school day to help the marching band and students reach a level of musical ability never before seen at North Henderson High. His weekends are spent supervising and coaching his students at major competitions. He has the utmost respect and admiration of his students, staff and parents. ”
~ Matthew Hudgins

Responsibility

“Mr. Sigmon is the band director at North. Not only has he been dedicated to the concert and marching bands, but he is dedicated to providing the best leadership to his students. He has been able to provide also a family environment while working with the students that respect him more than anything. He also has rebuilt a program with little students to now a ever growing, successful program that is award winning on all levels in competition. Mr. Sigmon deserves this honor because he teaches our children honor, respect and dignity. He demonstrates the characteristic as a teacher I would love for all my daughter's teachers to have. I appreciate him always being there and standing for what he believes in, which is his program and children.”
~ Jessica Taylor



Lisa Sizemore – Monroe Area Comprehensive High School (Monroe, GA)

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Service

“Mrs. Sizemore has been teaching at our school for just two years, and in these two years she has demonstrated so many spectacular qualities. Thanks to her, she has completely turned the Early Childhood Education program around. So much in fact that over 200 students signed up for the class for the 2011-2012 school year. She is always being a leader to all of us and she deserves this reward so much.”
~ Crystal Underwood

Teamwork

“ Mrs. Sizemore is always working hard and always takes the time to get to know each and every one of her students. She truly cares about her students and wants them to do well in life. Along with teaching high schoolers, she teaches a preschool as well, which includes around 14 preschool students. Mrs. Sizemore likes to keep the preschool and high school rooms updated so she is constantly buying us new materials that we might not think to buy for ourselves. In addition to all this, she also is in charge of our school's FCCLA club. Her class is anything but boring, it's fun, exciting, and the learning environment is great. She always finds ways to include new and fun ideas into our learning for our better understanding. With her busy and hectic life she somehow runs out of time for her students. She is such a great teacher and influential person who is helping out wherever she is needed. We are very blessed to have such a caring, kind, and wonderful teacher here at Monroe Area High School. ”
~ Elizabeth Moody



Thomas Stull – Storm Grove Middle School (Vero Beach, FL)

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Service

“Tom Stull works with students with Autism and gives selflessly of himself on a daily basis. He works through planning periods and lunch breaks, because his students need him to be there. He is always thinking of the students needs and not his own. The difference he is making in his students lives is immeasurable. He does this daily no matter the stress level, which can be very high at times. Tom never shows his stress in the classroom and goes unnoticed as an unsung hero to his students. Tom is always educating himself on best practices for his students and has earned his masters degree in behaviorial science and has become a certified behavior analyst to better educate his students. Tom exemplifies excellence in the classroom and the service he provides for his students. ”
~ Michele Keeling

Responsibility

“Tom Stull is an ESE middle school teacher, with eight students with various degrees of autism and other disabilities such as communication delays. The commitment Mr. Stull shows on a daily basis is commendable. Due to the severity of the needs of his students and the fact they need constant supervision he does not take a planning or lunch break. He eats lunch with his students every day. The children who can’t communicate share an I-Pad. It would be wonderful if we were able to purchase another one for the classroom. It would be a true miracle if all the students had their own I-Pad. In addition, part of the curriculum is a program titled Cooking to Learn. This program is designed to provide 'hand on', practical way to help students increase reading comprehension, vocabulary, expressive language, math and science skills. Due to severe budget cuts within the school district, Mr. Stull pays for majority of the supplies out of his own pocket. Mr. Stull has been doing this for the past 8 years. He never complains about the fact he funds a lot of the 'Extras' in his classroom. He does it because he truly cares for his students and wants to make a difference in their lives. Tom Stull is so deserving of this money as are his students. ”
~ Patty Giordano

Service

“Tom Stull gives of himself selflessly EVERYDAY. He works with our autistic students and goes so far above and beyond the expectations. He takes on additional tasks during his planning period to ensure that these students are able to transition throughout the day with no problems. He spends his own money and personal time beyond the school day investing in our students. He has even gone as far as riding the school bus home with students who were apprehensive to ride just to give them a sense of comfort. Tom waits for his students every morning in the bus loop and they greet him with a big smile and a firm handshake. Tom Stull, in my opinion, is the epitome of what every classroom teacher should be...he is absolutely amazing!!!”
~ Jennifer Idlette-Williams

Service

“ Tom is our ESE with Autism teacher and head of the department. He is so good with his students everyday, patient, understanding, caring and devoted. He never asks for anything or expects anything. He is an amazing, amazing teacher and person. ”
~ Holly Emard



Kim Swartz – Liberty Magnet School (Vero Beach, FL)

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Responsibility

“Ms. Swartz is the kind of generous and dedicated teacher that kids remember. She is the kind of communicative and optimistic teacher that parents remember. She has chosen to make her life's work teaching young autistic children ages 5 through 8. She is known for spending a lot of her own money on new and innovative learning materials, art supplies, toys and snacks for her students, and this award would only help her out in this regard. In addition, autistic children can often be pretty rough on classroom materials, and so there is an ongoing need to replace existing materials. This award would be a great honor for her, and well deserved. ”
~ Deb Fox

Responsibility

“She is an enthusiastic, caring individual who works exclusively with special needs kids, a job most people could not handle. Not only does she handle it, but she brings joy and fun to the students. My son is in second grade and this is the first year that he looks forward to going to school! ”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“ Mrs. Swartz teaches children (including my son) with autism. A person who dedicates themselves to teaching children with special needs is a blessing to us parents with special needs children, but Mrs. Swartz goes above and beyond the call of duty--not only taking a personal, vested interest in each of her students, but also striving to help her students become independent members of society. She actively involves families in all classroom activities and really listens to what parents want for their child. Many times during the year she spends her own money for classroom activities such as making cookies so that her students experience hands-on learning. She would smartly use $500 to benefit the students in her classroom. ”
~ Amy Lehoullier

Integrity

“She is a very dedicated teacher. She works with children who have autism and she actually gets students to talk that have never talked before. She is amazing at what she does. She has the patience of a saint with all that screaming that the students do because they cannot communicate. She has programed boxes to help them communicate. She is very dedicated to each child. I don't think there are many people that could do what she does with those children and make such a difference in their lives.”
~ Beverly Robison

Integrity

“Kimberly is a teacher for students with autism and has an incredible work ethic that ensures that every student makes progress; she elicits the support of her district support personnel, school colleagues and school leadership team to assist in programming. Kimberly is always looking for innovative ways to teach her students and have them participate in class and school activities in a meaningful way. Kim always remains positive and works with parents to have high expectations of their children. Kimberly is a credit to the profession of teaching.”
~ Laura McGill



Melissa Taylor – Sebastian River High School (Sebastian, FL)

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Service

“Melissa Taylor teaches drama, public speaking, and the competition drama troupe class. She teaches adolescents the required skills for being presentable and respectable in society. Mrs. Taylor also teaches and shapes actors and actresses while simultaneously inspiring and encouraging them to follow their dreams. Due to budget cuts, she has had to overcome difficult obstacles for every show that has been presented. She also has personally contributed a large sum of hours towards competitions and afterschool rehearsals for absolutely no pay. She teaches from her heart. Mrs. Taylor is a great teacher that abides by all rules to the tee but also makes school really enjoyable. She is a teacher that contributes 150% and does not get recognized for it. She has changed so many lives and she would humbly accept the $500 and spend it to the utmost benefit for her students. ”
~ Anonymous

Service

“Because she has put forth an effort above and beyond her formal duties as Drama teacher, taking her students in her competitive class to district and state competitions when the program was low on funding already. She has never sacrificed the curriculum her students have become accustomed to due to monetary limitations, even though we get no funding from the school. Now, the program is in danger of being cut at our school because of budget cuts, not because of the amount of money that it takes to run the program (because, once again, it is NOT school funded) but because they are trying to avoid paying her a teacher AND sponsor pay, when she earns that sponsor pay for maybe a few weeks out of every year! It is a shame they feel that this program deserves to be cut, when so many students at the school advocate it and indeed see it as their sole outlet for energy and favorite extracurricular activity. Being in the program my entire high school career I know first hand how much of a second family the drama troupe is to its' students. Hopefully, this money could help keep the program afloat!”
~ David Bilbray



Patti Thorsen – Avalon Elementary School (Naples, FL)

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Service

“ Mrs. Thorsen is dedicated to giving her students a diverse educational experience. She: -- is the teacher for technology (computer learning and use) for the students, is the guidance and leadership for advancing technology changes for the school, and is the coordinator for computer needs on the entire campus, supported by one staff member and a few volunteers; -- is the teacher and instructor for the science laboratory studies of 11 classes of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders (220+ students per week) supported by only one volunteer with project studies from chemistry, to physics, to geology and more; -- is the guidance, planner, coordinator, and implementer for this school's Global Garden activities supporting work by dozens of garden volunteers in training the students (90+ coming from homes at poverty level incomes) on sustained gardening and growing techniques. She obtained, this year alone, multiple grants for Avalon School; one for the 5th grade classes from FPL (Florida Power and Light) for alternative energy powered home models built by the students, and another for iPod technology equipment for all her technology classes and the FPL project support. Her Global Garden efforts won for Avalon School a first place reward from the University of Florida and Disney Company. She is a long-term and sought after education and technology resource for the school (as many teachers come to her to help and guidance) but also for the Collier County technology teachers as a member of a working group to coordinate and better the educational results for students within the entire county. Mrs. Thorsen is primarily working at the Avalon School, but also contributes a day a week to another nearby elementary school. With each additional bit of capital, she seems to be able to multiply it 3 fold to enhance the benefit across many students and age groups. She is a tireless educator, a fierce student friend and advocate, and an active example for students and teachers she associates with, and it would be a great honor to see a person of this caliber receive a gift for her continued efforts. As a member and business client of RBC Bank, it is my honor to have volunteered with her this past year and to nominate her for this reward.”
~ Richard Jarvis

Teamwork

“She is an outstanding leader and role model. In addition to class work as technology leader for the school, she heads the Global Garden Project for the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. This volunteer garden program won first place this year in the state-wide garden competition for elementary schools. ”
~ Sidney Gold

Service

“ Mrs. Thorsen works tirelessly to provide the students of Avalon Elementary with the best possible opportunities for education. Her efforts extend well beyond the day-to-day teaching duties to overseeing many after school programs; including the school’s award winning Global Garden Program. The program strives to provide students with an opportunity to learn lessons in a wide range of subjects using the garden as a classroom while promoting student character development. Mrs. Thorsen leads the program for the Title I elementary school. She puts in an incredible number of hours creating lesson plans that will make an impact on the students, making sure that each child has all of the necessary supplies to be successful, and managing volunteers from the community. The lessons learned from the program and from Mrs. Thorson impact each student throughout their lives. Mrs. Thorsen is a valuable asset to our community and has generously shaped the lives of many local students. She exemplifies the values of service to others through her dedication to the students, teamwork by reaching out to families and members of the community to become a part of the garden, responsibility by acting as a mentor to the students both in and out of the classroom, and integrity through her words and actions. Mrs. Thorsen is very deserving of this award. ”
~ Chad Washburn

Responsibility

“95% of the students at the Avalon Elementary School are receiving free or reduced lunch. Patti has embraced the concept of teaching students how to grow their own food and live in a very healthy manner. She has developed a relationship with the Naples Botanical Garden and enticed volunteers to work with 3rd through 5th graders in growing their own fruits and vegetables, and developing a Global Garden. They are also taught to develop a healthy relationship with Mother Nature, and treat her with respect. She does all of these while bringing math and science concepts out of the classroom and into the Garden. She does all of this while showing students how to work as team members and treat each other and their mentors with respect.”
~ Marianne Foley

Service

“Besides running a Computer Lab with a scientific orientation as part of her daily professional responsibility, Pattie also manages an afterschool Global Garden Program. Avalon Elementary, due in large part to Patti's leadership in my opinion, was awarded the top School Garden Award by the University of Florida, a state-wide competition during the 2009-2010 academic year. In addition, Pattie plans environmental field excursions for her economically deprived students.”
~ Dr. Michael Sullivan



Jenny Walters – Dr. John Codington Elementary School (Wilmington, NC)

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Responsibility

“ The kindergarten teaching team of Mrs. Walters & Mrs. McSteen give much more of themselves than I ever expected from teachers. They install responsibility and initiative in the young students. The students love school and I know it is not just mine because as the kids become friends, the parents talk more and hear how the other children are enjoying school. Apart from the social aspects, the children are advancing academically. The teachers include the parents in the learning process by having in-class volunteers and encouraging parents to read with the children at home. Finally, the communications between teachers and parents is exceptional. They update the website daily to inform parents what has been accomplished in class and they issue a weekly newsletter. This allows parents to reinforce the learning that takes place in class. Mrs. Walters and Mrs. McSteen are doing a fabulous job. I have told them as much, but it would be great for them to receive more formal recognition.”
~ John Marriott



Cheryl Warren – Wayne Country Day School (Goldsboro, NC)

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Teamwork

“ This year was my son's first year of school. I was very anxious about the process but thankfully we had Mrs. Warren there to help us with this important transition to early childhood education. Although my son has only been in her classroom for two weeks, Mrs. Warren already has a special place in our heart. Everyday she is excited about teaching the kids new things. She has a love for teaching and a love for the children. She displays a positive attitude in everything she does. I feel like this money would be used for much needed supplies in her room. Since this is a private school, teachers rely heavily on donations and gifts. I feel like she would use this money for tools that will help her everyday. It is such a joy to see someone do something for the love of it! Mrs. Warren has been in this field for 20 + years and has been a strong supporter of early childhood education. She is very verbal with the parents and keeps us informed through meetings and weekly newsletters. This money is greatly needed and most of all well deserved. ”
~ v



Lauren Williams – North Highland Elementary School (Hueytown, AL)

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Teamwork

“ Lauren Williams is an art teacher at 2 schools, North Highland and Lipscomb Elementary, teaching about 500 students a week. She is given a tiny budget each year, which never covers the amount of art supplies needed to teach so many students. Art supplies are not like text books that can be reused every year. Art supplies get used up and need to be repurchased every year. Mrs. Williams works hard at her two schools working closely with the classroom and music teachers. She collaborates with these teachers and connects her state art standards with units that her students are learning in other subject. Please consider Mrs. Williams for the $500 classroom cash so that she can continue to provide art supplies for her students.”
~ Carrie Cruz



Sharron Williams – Sanlee Middle School (Sanford, NC)

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Responsibility

“Ms. Williams cares about her students. She sets high expectations for all students as she challenges the students to do their best everyday. Ms. Williams is very outgoing and makes learning fun.”
~ Anonymous

Service

“ She is a great teacher! I love her so much. Whenever you need help, she is always there! ”
~ Anonymous

Teamwork

“Sharon Williams is a young energetic teacher who has great relationships with the students. She is an active staff member at San Lee Middle School. She is an assistant cheerleading coach. Her support for these students follows them through high school. She is often seen at high school sporting events checking in on them. They go out of their way to speak to her. Their reaction to seeing her reflects the impact she has had on them in the classroom. It is obvious that as a young teacher she is a positive role model for her students. She always has a smile for everyone and some days that makes all the difference in a child's life.”
~ Beth Yow

Responsibility

“ I think Ms. Williams should win $500 because she is amazing teacher. When she explains something to our class she explains it so well that everyone understands it without having to ask any questions. ”
~ Haley Mulnix

Service

“I think she should win $500 because she is a very good teacher and she likes to help others. She does a lot of things around the school to help teachers and students. When people ask her to do things she never complains about stuff and always do a good job when helping. ”
~ Kaniya Alston

Responsibility

“ I think Ms. Williams should win 500 dollars because she is a great teacher that is helping us learn everything we need to learn. ”
~ Hannah Scully

Service

“I think Ms. Williams should win $500 because she is very good at what she does and her students understand and appreciate her work. Ms. Williams is very compassionate about teaching.”
~ Jonathan Mcauley

Responsibility

“I think Ms. Williams should win $500 because she is a helpful teacher and help us to learn a lot of new words and help us to get a good education.”
~ Milton Jackson

Service

“Ms. Williams is an excellent teacher who is passionate about her field. She cares about each one of her students and does an excellent job relating to them. Her commitment to students and the community is a standard that all teachers should hold themselves to.”
~ Justin Wilkinson

Service

“This teacher goes above and beyond the call of duty. She supports students not only academically but physically and socially. She feeds children if they are hungry and if she knows of a specific need she will take money out of her pocket to help. She also supports her fellow teachers with her time and understanding. She not only teaches at school but participates in after school programs to ensure the success of her students. She supports extra curricular activities and tries to be at all the games. Sharron has high expectations for her students and herself. She is working on her administration degree. She is definitely a teacher of excellence.”
~ Laurie McCauley

Service

“Ms. Williams should win $500 because she is a great teacher. With more materials to use in the classroom we can learn a lot more. ”
~ Stephanie Perry

Responsibility

“Sharron is an awesome teacher, and an awesome person. She will give all of her extra time, and puts tons of effort into what she does on a daily basis. She teaches 8th grade language arts, and English I at SanLee Middle. She also helps with the cheerleading team, and she is the MC at ALL of our PEP Rally's. She is a great role model to our kids, and her extra effort goes a long way. She also works at an after school tutoring program every afternoon while she is still in classes for her administration license. She is just a WONDERFUL TEACHER!!!!”
~ Gina Guerrero

Responsibility

“Ms. Williams should win $500 because she explains the information in an engaging way that we can understand. She allows us to work in groups and fun activities with the stories that we read.”
~ Oscar Gomez

Integrity

“Ms. Williams should win $500 because she is a great teacher. She understands students if they are having problems and helps them out as much as she can.”
~ Gabriela Casslegno

Service

“Ms. Williams is a loving, caring, giving, motivating, superb classroom teacher. She has a wonderful relationship with faculty, parents, and her students. ”
~ Kim Stuart

Teamwork

“Ms. Williams is the most fun out of all of my teachers in the past 3 of my school years. I think that she could do some very nice things for our class and others if she won the $500.”
~ Julian Colwell

Responsibility

“Ms. Williams is the best teacher because she lets us do the funnest activities in our class. We learn lots in here. We all do our work in here the best we can because that is the way that she likes it done. She always tells us the she has high expectations for us but there is no exceptions. Everyday I look forward to this class because I know that with Mrs. Williams, it’s going to be a fun day.”
~ Bruno A.

Service

“Ms. Williams should win because she is a great teacher. Ms. Williams likes to have fun with the kids and not just sit around and yell. She also has students who listen to her and do what she says. With 500 dollars, Ms. Williams can buy her students new books, which will help us, learn more.”
~ Forrest Overton

Responsibility

“ Ms. Williams should win $500 because she is one of the BEST teachers ever. She is a fun, energetic, smart, respectful, and responsible teacher. She interacts with us kids in a very cool way. She expects high expectations from all of her kids. This is a teacher that will sit down and get to know you. You can expect to see her at all sports games within our school to support us. If you respect her she will definitely respect you. She teaches us in a very fun but smart way so that we can learn but still have a good time. From the start of the year you might have heard Ms. Williams is a cool teacher but when you get in her class you know why she is cool because she is not the unfair, yelling type of teacher, she is one to praise when you do good and when you do bad she will still praise and let you know what you did wrong. Ms. Williams is the best candidate for this because she is the most RESPECTFUL teacher you will ever meet and this is why she should win. ”
~ Cameron Locustby

Service

“Ms. Williams is a very fun, hard working, respectful, and responsible teacher. She can be fun but she can also be strict when you disrespect her. She is very big on respect. She says if you respect her, she'll respect you. She likes to do activities together as a class and with partners. She is very encouraging and helpful when we don't understand something and she works with us until we understand it. She isn't unfair to anybody no matter what they do. She believes in right and wrong. She messes around with us because she loves us and wants to become good friends with us. She likes to be the fun teacher, not the mean one. She helps around the school with cheer leading and after school activities. She thinks about other people before her self which i think is a great trait to have as a teacher. She will stay after school with you and help you if you need it. I think she deserves this award because she isn't like other teachers; she does WHATEVER it takes so you can understand what she is teaching. She is a PERFECT candidate for this award and also a recipient for the 500 dollars because she is caring, respectful, nice, funny, and responsible teacher. ”
~ Jack Quiggle

Teamwork

“Ms. Williams should win $500 because she is nice. She helps us and she laughs a lot. She is a fun teacher and she teaching us using games. We have a lot of fun in her classroom. I love having her as a teacher.”
~ Hannah Jones

Service

“Ms. Williams should win $500 because she is nice, and helps the students if needed. She just doesn't sit around doing nothing and yelling. She loves the kids and does fun stuff with us (:”
~ Tara Way

Service

“Ms. Williams is a very great teacher who is helpful and is very kind. Whenever you ask her for something she is willing to do it. We are very grateful to have a teacher like her.”
~ Jaylia Martin

Service

“Ms. Williams should win $500 because she is a great teacher. She loves to have fun with her students. She would use the $500 very wisely.”
~ Anonymous

Responsibility

“I think Ms. Williams should win the $500 dollars for the classroom because she is a great teacher and she is very nice and pretty. She is not mean at all she has good patience. She takes her time when she is teaching a lesson. If we need help she will take time out to make sure we understand what she is teaching. At the beginning of the year I knew she was going to be the best teacher ever because the way she said the motto of our team she said it with confidence. The motto is ' High Expectations , No Exceptions.' She makes us do E.O.C Warm Ups because she said she wanted us t pass the E.O.C's and E.O.G's. And she does teamwork activities with us to help us be good students. She wants to see all her students succeed. She also wants to make sure we are good writers she always said ' Anytime you get an essay I know you all will be able to ace it after I get done teaching you how to be good writers!' I think she is the best teacher I've ever had in my life. She is really a role model. I want to be just like her when i grow up she really keeps us in line. She likes for us to be successful and look successful. This is why i think she should win the $500 dollars for the classroom.”
~ Raven McLean

Service

“Ms. Williams is a great teacher because she helps us when we need help. We could use the money to buy novels for our classroom.”
~ Carissa Quick

Integrity

“Ms. Williams is a hard worker and she goes far and beyond the duty of a regular classroom teacher to make sure that she meets the needs of all of her students. She is respectful of her students and they are respectful of her.”
~ Robert Newby

Teamwork

“Ms. Williams is a hardworking teacher who has confidence in her students. I was one of her students last year and she has faith in all her students. She is an awesome teacher any of her teacher friends can depend on her for anything. ”
~ Ivette Depaz



Shandra Williamson – Randleman Middle School (Randleman, NC)

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Teamwork

“ Mrs. Williamson, an art instructor at Randleman Middle School, should be recognized as one of our best educators. She combines the students’ interests and other curriculum disciplines into her classroom art work to stimulate the students’ desire to learn. She uses art education to grow and excite students in well rounded learning experiences. She is caring and compassionate, yet firm in teaching her students to be responsible and accountable. She leads and encourages students to be involved in their community by helping others through art projects and fund raisers. For instance, her students made an array of bowls which she fired in a kiln. Then, she collaborated with the lunch room ladies to make soup so the students could sell their bowls with soup. They earned enough money to buy a cow for a third world country’s village. Mrs. Williamson goes the extra mile for her students. She takes their art work to art shows and displays it in various places throughout the community. She reaches beyond the art classroom to improve student learning. Collaborating with the mathematics instructor, she connected kite making with mathematics. Then, she coordinated with a kite association to assist her students in flying their kites. She also began an after school knitting club due to the desire and interests of her students and taught them to knit. She is a person of integrity and leadership. She was nominated Leadership Team Chair at Randleman Middle School for three successive years. She is currently doing a presentation with the North Carolina Art Educators Conference to demonstrate how art education improves students’ grades. Mrs. Williamson challenges her students to achieve to higher levels by exploring the world of art across the curriculum. She is indeed an innovative and best educator. ”
~ R.M. Stowers



Crissy Winsor – Mary B. Austin Elementary School (Mobile, AL)

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Service

“ I would like to nominate Crissy Winsor at Mary B. Austin for the RBC Bank Tribute to Teachers $500 classroom award as recognition of her tireless dedication to ensuring a sound, quality educational start for all of the students under her nurturing direction. As a mother, it is nerve-wrecking to think about your child's first year in a large elementary school session and when my son and I attended the Open House to drop off his school supplies, Ms. Winsor immediately put all of my fears to rest through her attentiveness and open-arms. She created a 'Kindergarten Survival Kit' which was a cute and positive gesture to show her commitment and support to her incoming students. The kit contained items such as: an eraser to remind the children that its ok to make mistakes, Hershey’s kiss hugs to encourage them to ask for hugs when needed, a shining star sticker to inform them that if they did there very best, they'd ALL be shining stars this year and a host of other items to display her positive approach to her job and their new educational beginning. She has remained in constant contact with me as a parent and attended a recent conference to discuss his progress thus far at my request. She recognized that my son needed extra help with handwriting and informed me of such and offered to send home writing paper to practice with. Through her recognition of his current handwriting skills, and his high test scores at the midterm reporting in Quarter 1 (All A's in Math, Reading and Science) she helped me to 'connect the dots' and discover that my son needed eye glasses to improve his vision which has already increased his handwriting skills! Ms. Winsor has also kept me informed of my son's dietary habits by sending notes home when he's not eaten his lunch which allowed me to send other nutritious items to ensure that he has the fuel to stay alert and engaged the entire day. She has accepted me as a volunteer chaperone on an upcoming field trip and will be working with me to enroll my son in the Talents Unlimited program due to her recognition of his high potential and capacity recently. There aren't enough words that I can say to illustrate my support of Mrs. Winsor as an educator and how blessed I feel to have received her as our very first teacher in the beginning of a prayerfully prosperous academic career. Hopefully, all teachers are as cognizant and proactive as Ms. Winsor, thus ensuring the success of our future generation full of leaders and innovators. ”
~ Danisha L. Maye



Dora Winters – Alberta Elementary School (Tuscaloosa, AL)

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Responsibility

“ Mrs. Winters is a wonderful teacher. She is always teaching! I have taught across from Mrs. Winters for the past six years and I'm always learning from her. She is also a great example for the students to follow. She tries to not only teach the skill, but she teaches life lessons as well. She is firm when she needs to be but also very genial and funny! ”
~ Jill Morgan



Trenna Woodley – Mariner High School (Cape Coral, FL)

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Integrity

“ Trenna Woodley is an Intensive Reading Teacher and the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) coordinator at Mariner High School. While she does outstanding work with her intensive reading students, for the past three years, it is her recent performance as the AVID coordinator that has demonstrated her professional qualities in a way that makes her worthy of recognition of this honor. Trenna first volunteered to attend AVID training in the summer of 2010 as Mariner High School initiated the program. Unfortunately the need for her intensive reading services filled her teaching schedule up and precluded her involvement in daily AVID classes. Trenna believes in AVID to such a extent that she readily accepted the role of on campus coordinator during the school year. She has since returned to conduct further AVID training and has had the good fortune to teach an AVID class during the 2011 - 2012 school year. The duties and responsibilities of an AVID coordinator extend beyond the classroom. It encompasses monitoring the program according to the rules of AVID. This piece requires the coordinator to be unfailingly honest with the status of the program, the direction which it is heading and a conscientious approach to meeting the needs of its stakeholders. Mrs. Woodley also promotes the program, recruits students, communicates with parents, and interacts with AVID coordinators from the district to the national level. Her attention to detail and honesty have marked the program as one that id faithful to its tenets and has garnered praise from the district level. Trenna has also organized monthly meetings in order to keep all of the AVID staff informed and on track to help the students achieve in a rigorous academic environment. Trenna knows the benefits of AVID and works diligently in a manner that reflects great credit upon her, Mariner High School and the AVID program.”
~ Brian Mangan

Service

“ This student essay describes why Mrs. Woodley deserves this recognition: As I arrive to school Mrs. Woodley, my reading teacher, greets me as I walk into the noisy classroom. The room is full of sleepy or hyper, talkative teenagers. Her class is comforting because she welcomes you with a smile. Mrs. Woodley is an influence to me because she is caring and always asks me how I am doing or if I have any problems, and she is a fantastic teacher, because she motivates me when it comes the FCAT to make sure I pass it. If I walk into her classroom with a sad look, she knows there is something wrong with me that day. Often times, she asks me what is bugging me if I am being quiet in class. When she does, she makes jokes and tells me to cheer up. I appreciate her for trying to get involved and be a caring teacher towards me as her student. Mrs. Woodley is one of many teachers that I have this year, and she knows how to do her job very well and knows how to deal with annoying adolescents. She is not evil, but she will not tolerate her students mouthing off or speaking in a negative way towards her or other students. Mrs. Woodley is a wonderful teacher because she is very smart and she teaches us lessons and notes in a specific way; for example, Cornell-style notes where you write notes about the topic you are learning and you add questions on the side of your paper to summarize everything you learned about the topic. It organizes my notes and helps me understand what I have read. A typical day in Mrs. Woodley’s class focuses mainly on preparing us for the FCAT. First, we do a bell-ringer, which is reading a story and answering the questions for extra practice. Next, we usually practice more for the FCAT and read another challenging story and answer questions for an actual test grade. At times I say, “Oh, this is hard, I cannot do it!” and she tells me, “YES YOU CAN!”, therefore, she gives me hope and motivates me that I will do amazing on this reading exam. Finally, we end our day reading our novel that we picked at our own interest level to make us better readers in life. Overall, Mariner High School is a welcoming place to learn in Cape Coral, Florida. Many of the staff and teachers are wonderful. But, Mrs. Woodley is an inspiration to me because she is caring and welcomes me into her classroom with warm feelings from her big heart; she knows how to teach very well and she motivates her students and prepares them for the challenging and complicated FCAT test. ”
~ Ronda Amaya