Jan 2016 TOM3LEBANON, TENN. — “We are not afraid of working above and beyond. In fact, that is what defines us.” — Brian Cleary

This quote by Cleary, a teacher in the Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, Washington, perhaps best describes a new honor being bestowed on a teacher each month by Wilson County Schools and the Lebanon/Wilson Chamber of Commerce.

The new Teacher of the Month Award is one that will honor teachers who “demonstrate hard work and commitment to their students,” explained Dr. Kate Burgun, supervisor of instruction for grades nine-12.

Burgun explained that each month Wilson County Schools’ supervisors ask principals to submit the name of one teacher who has demonstrated hard work and commitment to their students as their school’s Teacher of the Month.

“We also ask principals to write an explanation of why they selected this teacher,” Burgun explained. “Then, Wilson County Schools’ supervisors review the schools’ submissions and select one teacher to be Wilson County Schools and Lebanon/Wilson Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Month.”

Supervisors included in the selection process are Burgun, Deputy Director of Academics Monty Wilson, Supervisor of Instruction Grades Kindergarten-Five Yvonne Smith, Supervisor of Middle Schools Grades Six-Eight Angela Rohen, Supervisor of Testing and Accountability Jennifer Cothron, and CTE Supervisor Bill Moss.

Melanie Minter, president of the chamber, said the organization was “thrilled” when asked to partner with the school system on this honor.

Minter noted that the chamber partnered last year with the school system on promoting forums explaining CONNECTS, Wilson County Schools’ Digital Conversion Plan for 2015-2018.

“We also partnered with the school system’s Back to School Blast for the almost 1,200 teachers and administrators on the first day of school this year,” said Minter. “We believe in education and in the teachers who work so hard day-in and day-out. We are so happy to be a part of this, and we look forward to more partnerships like this in the future.”

Burgun said the school system wanted to partner with the chamber to award the Teacher of the Month “because we want our teachers to know that not only does Wilson County Schools appreciate their dedication to students, but that the Wilson County community values their hard work as well.”

The first teacher to receive the newly minted Teacher of the Month honor is Julie Groover at Mt. Juliet Middle School for January 2016.

MJMS Principal Tim Bell wrote about Groover: “Julie works tirelessly with her drama students to prepare for large scale productions like her students’ recent “Annie” production. She choreographs most of the plays she produces, and spends nights and weekends building sets and rehearsing with students.

“Her dedication to the drama department and to Mt. Juliet Middle School students is exceptional!”

Groover said, “I love exploratory and fine arts, so I think it’s an honor to be representing the fine arts. I think it’s great. It seems like it should be math, so that’s awesome. I’m very proud, very excited.”

Burgun and Minter both added that the school system and community appreciate Groover’s commitment to her students to ensure her students’ produce a stellar on-stage performance for the community each and every time.

Jan 2016 TOM4Jan 2016 TOM1