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'13-14 Teachers of the Year announced
Standing (L-R): Yolanda Canty, Brooke Mote, Sharon Darley, Sharon Oliver, Sandy Moseley, Allison LaSure-Jones, Christopher Andrews, Beth Coody, Sandy Briscoe, Chris Williams, Kenneth Hanson, Ken Meakins Seated (L-R): Kena Hudgins, Christy Mortimer, Monique Mitchell, Linda Smith, Allison Pittman, Michelle Finley, Heather Fuller, Marci Scott, April Burnfin, Velika Hurst, Christina Crowe - photo by Submitted / The Covington News

It was 4:15 p.m. on Monday, long past the time students walked out of their classrooms for the day, but a group of teachers stuck around.

The 2013-2014 school-level Teachers of the Year were announced Sept. 29 by the Newton County School System (NCSS) and the Newton County Chamber of Commerce after being selected by their peers for the designation at the end of last school year. They will now participate in the county program, with the dinner serving as the Newton County School System’s 2015 Teacher of the Year.

Nominees – one from each public school – worked on the district Teacher of the Year essay packet over the summer, which required answers to questions concerning their educational background, philosophy and teaching style. Each of the 23 teachers will sit for a 20-minute interview with a panel of volunteer judges representing NCSS, the Chamber, local businesses and civic organizations Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

The three teachers with the highest combined scores from the essay and interview will be announced as finalists on Friday, Oct. 3. A selection committee will observe each of the three finalists in the classroom on Oct. 7. The teacher with the highest combined score on the essay, interview and observation will become the Teacher of the Year during a special ceremony at Newton High School on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 4:45 p.m., according to an NCSS press release.

“I appreciate you, and I thank you for your service,” said Samantha Fuhrey, NCSS superintendent, to the group Monday. “The fact that you’re here is a testament to your dedication to this school system because we know there are other choices out there. You are the example.”

All 23 teachers will be recognized at the reception at Newton, with two runners-up receiving a crystal vase. The county-wide Teacher of the Year will receive a crystal vase, a free three-month car rental from Covington Ford and $1,000 and will represent Newton County in the Georgia Teacher of the Year program.

“Newton County’s Teacher of the Year program would not be possible if it were not for the support of our community,” the press release said. “As a result, the (NCSS) and the (Chamber) would like to extend a special thanks to the Chamber Champions, sponsors of the 2015 Teacher of the Year program: General Mills, Ginn Motors, Covington News, Apollo Staffing, Newton Medical Center, Bank of North Georgia, United Bank of Covington, SKC, Inc., BB&T, Pattillo, Snapping Shoals EMC, Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority, Kelly Products, TPA Realty Services, Wagner Service Solutions, Tread Technologies Company, Newton Citizen, AT&T, Georgia Power, Newton Federal Bank, Beaver Manufacturing, Pinnacle Bank, Consolidated Copier Services, Pratt Industries, Bard, Newton College & Career Academy, The Center, Bridgestone Golf and Choate Construction.”

The 2013-2014 Teachers of the Year are:

East Newton Elementary: Christina Crowe

Fairview Elementary: Yolanda Canty

Flint Hill Elementary: Sharon Darley

Heard-Mixon Elementary: Sandy Moseley

Live Oak Elementary: Velika Hurst

Livingston Elementary: Brooke Mote

Mansfield Elementary: Beth Coody

Middle Ridge Elementary: Allison Pittman

Newton County Theme School at Ficquett: Kena Hudgins

Oak Hill Elementary: Allison Jones

Porterdale Elementary: Ken Meakins

Rocky Plains Elementary: Linda Smith

South Salem Elementary: April Burnfin

West Newton Elementary: Marci Scott

Clements Middle: Sandy Briscoe

Cousins Middle: Chris Andrews

Indian Creek Middle: Kenneth Hanson

Liberty Middle: Sharon Oliver

Veterans Memorial Middle: Christy Mortimer

Alcovy High: Michelle Finley

Eastside High: Monique Mitchell

Newton High: Chris Williams

Newton College & Career Academy: Heather Fuller