Eight teachers of the year have been announced by Oak Ridge Schools. Teachers of the year were chosen at the preschool, all four elementary schools, both middle schools, and the high school.
Here are those picked as teachers of the year:
- Oak Ridge Preschool—Susan Galler
- Glenwood Elementary School—Amy Kennedy
- Linden Elementary School—Ginger Adams
- Willow Brook Elementary School—Michelle Chenot
- Woodland Elementary School—Jennifer Little
- Jefferson Middle School—Jim Dodson
- Robertsville Middle School—Scot Smith
- Oak Ridge High School—Michael Feuer
Oak Ridge Schools is participating in Tennessee’s Teacher of the Year program, a press release said.
“This program is intended to recognize and honor outstanding teachers in our state,” the press release said. “In Oak Ridge, we have many talented and hard-working teachers. These teachers of the year are representatives and examples of the great educators who do great work with students every day.”
Here is more information about the teachers from the press release:
Oak Ridge Preschool—Susan Galler
Susan Galler has been an educator for more than 40 years. She served as preschool inclusion/resource specialist for 11 years and now serves as a preschool inclusion classroom teacher. She also works in private practice as an autism specialist.
Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education, a master’s degree in early childhood education, an Ed.S. in school psychology and an Ed.D. in leadership/teaching and learning.
Galler’s philosophy of teaching supports helping children to become creative and confident thinkers, while supporting healthy emotional growth. She supports developing a relationship with the child and the family. Her background includes foster parenting, counselor, and volunteer work as a guardian-ad-litem and parent educator.
She and her husband are parents of three adult children and two young girls whom they adopted from Pakistan. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her children, travel, and study research.
Glenwood Elementary School—Amy Kennedy
Amy Kennedy has been a third-grade teacher at Glenwood Elementary since 2011. She currently serves as the professional learning communities coach for Glenwood, as well as the third-grade team leader.
Kennedy previously taught preschool, kindergarten, and first grade in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Virginia. She was also a reading intervention teacher during her time in Virginia.
Kennedy graduated from the University of Southern Arkansas in Magnolia, Arkansas, where she received her undergraduate degree in elementary education, as well as her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.
She has three daughters who are also students in Oak Ridge Schools.
Linden Elementary School—Ginger Adams
Ginger Adams teaches first grade at Linden Elementary. This is her 21st year of teaching.
Adams graduated with honors from Maryville High School, Berea College (B.A.), Tusculum College (M.A.), and Lincoln Memorial University (Ed.S.).
Adams has a vision for helping all of the children in our community become readers. She has targeted the Summer Slide (losing reading levels during the summer months). Last summer, Adams and several other teachers brought books to apartment communities in the Linden district on a weekly basis. Each week teachers talked with students, supplied books to read at home for the next week, and gave prizes to children who read. In the summer of 2016, the bookmobile project will serve Willow Brook students in addition to Linden students.
When not serving students, Adams enjoys spending time with her husband and sons. Her sons, Kenny and Ande, enjoy Pokemon events, chess tournaments, and AYSO soccer. Kenny enjoys reading with children as part of the bookmobile project and helps serve holiday meals to the community with his mother. Adams and her family love being a part of the Oak Ridge community.
Willow Brook Elementary School: Michelle Chenot
Michelle Chenot earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and music therapy and her master’s in curriculum and instruction with a focus on reading. She holds licensure in Special Education (K-12), Early Childhood (preK-3), and ESL (preK-12).
Chenot is also a board certified music therapist. After working with children with special needs as a music therapist, Chenot transitioned into the classroom as a full-time teacher. She has served in this role since 2000.
In 2014, Chenot joined the Willow Brook family where she quickly became a teacher leader, serving as a STEM Innovator and as a member of the Positive Behavior Support Team. Her pedagogy and practices are student-focused as she aims to help students grow academically, behaviorally, and emotionally.
Chenot enjoys spending time outdoors with husband, Mark, who is also an educator, and sons, Nelson and Jacob. Her hobbies include playing with her dogs, bicycling, and hiking.
Woodland Elementary School—Jennifer Little
Jennifer Little currently teaches fourth grade at Woodland Elementary School. This is her 23rd year of teaching, all at Woodland.
During her first six years in the district, she taught third grade in the Spanish Immersion program. After that, she spent many years as a self-contained third-grade teacher and then proceeded to loop between third and fourth grades for a number of years.
Little has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and Spanish from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois, and an master’s in curriculum and instruction from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Little has served as a STEM Innovator for the past two years and has directed Camp Invention, a nationally acclaimed science camp, for the past two summers at Woodland Elementary. In addition to organizing the camp and hiring staff and volunteers to help run the program, she applied for and received an Oak Ridge Schools Public Education Foundation grant to provide funding for students in need of financial scholarships.
When Little is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her three daughters, Lauren, Madelynn, and Hannah, and attending their many different sporting events and activities.
Jefferson Middle School—Jim Dodson
Since 1987, Jim Dodson has been an art teacher in the Oak Ridge school system. In 1998 he was recognized as the Tennessee Art Educator of the Year and in 1999 as the National Middle School Art Educator of the Year.
Dodson was appointed to Humanities Tennessee Board by Governor Bill Haslam in 2015 and received the Distinguished Educator Award from the Tennessee Education Association.
He has led efforts to establish student art exhibitions in East, Middle, and West Tennessee at high-profile venues. Over the years, Dodson secured more than $7 million in scholarship awards for the students whose work was represented at these exhibits.
He has been selected to participate in the Knoxville Leadership Education, Oak Ridge Leadership, and East Tennessee Leadership programs.
Currently, Dodson is a board member and past president of the Tennessee Art Education Association, Visual Art Director of the Tennessee Arts Academy, and serves on the board of Dogwood Arts in East Tennessee.
Robertsville Middle School—Scot Smith
Scot Smith grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee, and attended East Tennessee State University, where he ran track and cross-country. While at ETSU, he earned a bachelor’s degree in humanities, a master’s in history, and an M.A.T in Secondary Education.
In 1993, he joined the Peace Corps and spent three years teaching English in Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine. After he returned from the Peace Corps, he enrolled at the University of Tennessee’s School of Information Sciences and received his M.I.S in 1998.
He has been the librarian at Robertsville Middle School for the past 15 years.
Before coming to RMS, he worked as a librarian at Loudon High School and Central High School.
Scot also teaches classes in young adult literature at the University of Tennessee and serves as the webmaster for Oak Ridge Schools. He is an active member of the Tennessee Association of School Librarians and is the co-chair for Tennessee’s Volunteer State Book Award.
Scot lives in Oak Ridge with his wife Yanina (also a school librarian) and daughter Anastasiya. In his free time, he enjoys walking at the marina, going to the gym, and reading.
Oak Ridge High School—Michael Feuer
Michael Feuer has taught in the Oak Ridge High School English Department since 1996. He has served as department coordinator for the past three years and is a past president of the Tennessee Council of Teachers of English.
He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1994 with a degree in English literature and received his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from UT the following year.
He and his wife, Sharon Thomas, a science teacher at Oak Ridge High School who also serves as the coordinator of the science department, have been married since 2001.
His oldest son, Jacob, is an attorney practicing in Memphis, and his youngest son, John-Michael, is a project engineer for a large construction company and is currently residing in Tampa, Florida.
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