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Posted: November 17, 2008 5:00 a.m.

2009 Teacher of the Year announced

Instructor from Cousins Middle School

By Mandi Singer /

For the love of learning: Newton County Teacher of the Year Christine Kraemer smiles as she is applauded by attendees during the 2009 Teacher of the Year reception held at Newton High School Thursday.

 The Newton County School System held their annual Teacher of the Year reception Thursday evening and announced that Cousins Middle School music teacher Christine Kraemer has been chosen as Newton County's TOTY for 2009.
As Troy Brooks, board chair of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce, began reading an excerpt from Kraemer's essay, she began shaking visibly in her seat and biting her lip. When her name was finally read aloud, Kraemer was stuttering so badly she had to take a breath to calm herself before continuing.
"It seems ironic that being a spokesperson I would be at a loss for words," she said with a small laugh. "I am very honored and it is so unexpected," Kraemer continued. "Behind every good teacher there is a good set of students, parents and administrators. It will be an extraordinary honor to represent Newton County."
According to Kraemer, as soon as Brooks began reading her essay she knew.
"I was shocked to be named TOTY for the school and when I was named a finalist it was more than I could have hoped for. But this honor.... I am just thrilled to have the opportunity to represent such a wonderful school and school system."
School superintendent Dr. Steven Whatley addressed the audience, saying that all of the nominees for TOTY symbolized the excellence found throughout the system in its teachers.
"And what they reap," he said, "is rewards not found in their salary but in their passion for teaching and learning and their dedication to all the students."
Cousins Middle School Principal Scott Sauls seemed nearly as excited about Kraemer's win as she was.
"I am so excited at Mrs. Kraemer's accomplishments," he said. "We join the system in saluting and applauding her achievements. And we are excited that the state will now be introduced to a great teacher from Newton County."
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