Oak Ridge Schools has announced three teachers of the year.
The three building-wide teachers of the year are:
- Amelia Bell, Glenwood Elementary School;
- Amy Fuqua, Linden Elementary School; and
- Lisa Meidl, Willow Brook Elementary School.
In a press release, school officials said they will soon announce the selection of the system-wide Teacher of the Year, selected from one of these three candidates.
Amelia Bell, Glenwood Teacher of the Year, is a librarian with 20 years of teaching experience. She is a member of the Glenwood Leadership Team, a prolific grant writer, and has been awarded the Tennessee Association of School Librarians Innovative Library Award, the press release said.
Bell has led the development of student-based conferencing, and she coordinates family events such as Family Math Night, Science Saturday, and book fairs. Bell is also the extended school day program grant manager.
Bell shares her “passion for history and government by teaching information literacy skills in the context of social studies,” the press release said.
“Not only does Mrs. Bell serve as librarian, she consults with classroom teachers about units of study and standards they are covering and then creates lessons to support classroom instruction in other content areas,” said Pearl Goins, principal of Glenwood Elementary School. “She has also formed a special reading club whereby students can establish goals and are rewarded with a special lunch with her in the library.”
Amy Fuqua, Linden Teacher of the Year, is a second grade teacher with 16 years of teaching experience. Fuqua is a data coach and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) innovator for Oak Ridge Schools and also serves as a member of the Linden Leadership Team.
Fuqua does a lot of work with technology in the classroom, from the Promethean Board, to Dreambox Learning, to iPods.
“The use of technology allows me to introduce information in a variety of ways, gives the students alternate ways to show their understanding, and maintains student excitement,” Fuqua said in the press release.
“There are few as committed to the teaching profession, working daily to perfect her skills, implement best practices, and differentiate for students,” said Roger Ward, principal of Linden Elementary School. “She is serious about the job at hand.”
One of her students, Brandon, said: “Ms. Fuqua challenges us with new levels, showing us that we can do things we did not know we could do. She is always helping others.”
Lisa Meidl, Willow Brook Teacher of the Year, is a librarian with 5.5 years of teaching experience. Meidl is secretary for the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature at the University of Tennessee. She learns the state standards for all elementary grade levels in order to better collaborate with classroom teachers and help students set and meet their goals.
“Teaching is one of the biggest acts of faith known to human kind…we pour ourselves into the lives of our students hoping that they will one day, perhaps many days past our days here on Earth, become happy, productive, and healthy adults,” Meidl said in the release.
“To enrich the lived experiences of our students, Ms. Meidl invites authors, illustrators, and craftspeople to meet with students and share their stories,” said Sherrie Fairchild-Keyes, principal of Willow Brook Elementary School. “For example, she invited a falconer to demonstrate his work with hawks as the opening activity of our Family Reading Night…More than just a place to check out books, the library is a bevy of activity.”
The Teacher of the Year program in the State of Tennessee recognizes and honors outstanding teachers. A Teacher of the Year candidate must be a full-time certificated teacher in a public school. The candidate must spend the majority of the school day in direct instruction of students, be in at least the fifth year of teaching in Tennessee public schools, and have a track record of exceptional gains in student learning. Teachers of the Year must be skilled in implementing creative teaching strategies, exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled, and have a superior ability to teach, the press release said.