Ginger Adams, a first-grade teacher at Linden Elementary School, has been named the 2016 Oak Ridge School District Teacher of the Year, officials said.
Oak Ridge Schools officials hope Adams will now be considered for East Tennessee Teacher of the Year. Her application will be sent to the East Tennessee Regional Office for their consideration for that award, a press release said.
Adams is one of eight teachers of the year selected from Oak Ridge eight schools: the Preschool, all four elementary schools, the two middle schools, and the high school. They are:
- Susan Galler from the Oak Ridge Preschool,
- Amy Kennedy from Glenwood Elementary School,
- Ginger Adams from Linden Elementary School,
- Michelle Chenot from Willow Brook Elementary School,
- Jennifer Little from Woodland Elementary School,
- Jim Dodson from Jefferson Middle School,
- Scot Smith from Robertsville Middle School, and
- Michael Feuer from Oak Ridge High School.
“The incredible work that these teachers undertake is a testament to our district and represents a small portion of the great work taking place in classrooms across our district,” the press release said.
Adams describes her classroom as a “family with a destination in mind,” the press release said. “She is committed in particular to ensuring that her students become readers. Over school breaks, for example, she sends a set of books home with students with reading logs to ensure that they read with someone every night when they are not in school. She reports that the majority of her students read over the breaks.”
To take this idea further, Adams has specifically targeted preventing the summer slide (losing reading levels during the summer months) as an area of focus, the release said.
“The summer slide occurs when students do not read during the summer,” Adams said in the release. “Students of poverty are most at risk for the summer slide. They often have little to no access to books when they are not attending school. If we don’t get on-level books to them and motivate them to read, it is as if a big eraser comes in and nullifies all of the work the student and teacher put into the last grading period.”
To prevent this, Adams started a bookmobile project last summer in which she and several other teachers brought books to apartment communities in the Linden region 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. Data showed that students who participated in this bookmobile project did not experience the summer slide and retained their reading levels into the next school year. If you would like to support Adam’s bookmobile project, please go to: https://www.gofundme.com/tnbookmobile/.
When not serving students, Adams enjoys spending time with her husband and sons, the press release said. 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,” the press release said.
“Congratulations to Mrs. Adams and to all of the Oak Ridge Schools’ Teachers of the Year for the amazing impact you have on students’ lives every day,” it said.
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