District Teachers of the Year Lead by Example

BY KAREN CAMPBELL

Weakley County Schools Communications Director

WEAKLEY COUNTY (February 3) – Helping students find their voice, close learning gaps and meet goals, and ensuring they feel safe enough to risk failure in order to ultimately excel are among the motivating factors that led to this year’s District Teachers of the Year claiming the honor.

Cassie King has spent the last four years of her nine in public education at Dresden High School teaching English to juniors and seniors, emphasizing writing as a major component of their work.

Paige Vaughn tapped into more than a decade of teaching experience to help shape her roles as the Language Arts and Literacy Leader for kindergarten through 5th grade and 5t- grade reading teacher at Gleason.

At Sharon, since 2013, Danielle VanCleave has brought the outside world indoors for her second-graders, providing real-life lessons to supplement those on the page.

These three educators were recently named Weakley County Schools’ Teachers of the Year for their age bands. They are currently drafting responses to questions for the regional component of the journey that can ultimately land teachers the recognition of Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

Each year Teachers of the Year are named first at the school level with peers nominating and voting for the candidates. A small group of educators then review written applications of those teachers to select county winners.

“Weakley County has a rich reservoir to draw from when it comes to recognizing teaching talents, skills and achievements,” noted Terri Stephenson, the county’s instructional supervisor who oversees the process each year. “And this year, when we have seen teachers not only meet, but exceed, expectations during this pandemic, we were especially pleased to be able to celebrate these three incredible examples of our faculty’s commitment to our students,” she added.

Regional winners will be announced March 31 and state representatives will be named in September.

For highlights from the classrooms of King, VanCleave and Vaughn, see Pages 9 and 10 of today’s edition.

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