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NCSS announces teachers of the year
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2011-12 Teacher of the Year finalists
Fairview Elementary - Jessica Brown
Flint Hill Elementary - Connie Brickell
Heard-Mixon Elementary - Kimberly Aldridge
Livingston Elementary - Cris Pachura
Live Oak Elementary - Melanie Patterson
Mansfield Elementary - Jennifer Jones
Middle Ridge Elementary - Felisha Leggett
Newton County Theme School at Ficquett - Gidget Smith
Oak Hill Elementary - Lindsay Annis
Porterdale Elementary School - Rachel Reis
Rocky Plains Elementary - Mary Jane Kessler
South Salem Elementary - Kim Malcom
West Newton Elementary - Yokita Byrd
Clements Middle - Linda Allemani
Cousins Middle - Sally Krieger
Indian Creek Middle - Vicki Meeler
Liberty Middle - Megan Stephens
Veterans Memorial Middle - Whitney Jackson
Alcovy High - Scott Rains
Eastside High - Trina Nickson
Newton High - Diana Brown

Finalists for the 2011-12 Teacher of the Year were announced yesterday at the Newton County School System's central office. The 21 women and one man were selected by their peers and will go on to participate in the county program, with the winner moving forward to the state contest.

According to a press release from Director of Public Relations Sherri Davis-Viniard, the nominees worked on a district essay packet, which requires the teachers to answer questions on their educational background, philosophy and teaching style. Each teacher will also participate in a 20-minute interview conducted by a panel of judges representing Newton County Schools, the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce and local businesses and civic organizations. Once scores are tallied, the top three will be surprised at their school and then observed by a judging committee the next week during class time. The winner will be announced on Oct. 25 at a ceremony held at Newton High School.

All finalists will be recognized at the reception and the two runners-up will receive a crystal vase. The winner will be given a crystal vase, a three-month car rental from Covington Ford and a check for $1,000.

"We're very proud of our Teachers-of-the-Year!" said Superintendent Gary Mathews. "Chosen by their peers, these professionals epitomize what we desire in our classrooms - thoughtful and caring mentors and teachers of our children. We can never thank them enough for their dedication as they are faced at times with not only the challenges of student achievement, but also with the challenges that many students bring from home to school. These folks are amongst the very best our community has to offer!"

The Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by: Honda of Conyers, Bank of North Georgia, Charter Business, Contract Packaging, General Mills, The Covington News, Ginn Motor Company, Snapping Shoals EMC, Apollo Staffing, Current Events Productions, Integrated Power Solutions, Newton Federal Bank, SKC, BB&T, Pattillo Wagner Service Solutions, TPA Realty Services, United Bank of Covington, Georgia Piedmont Technical College, AT&T, Bridgestone Golf, Beyond Exterminating, Beaver Manufacturing Company, Newton Citizen, Georgia Power, Newton Medical Center, Triple Horse, Pinnacle Bank, Sunbelt Builders, Tread Technologies Company, Georgia Perimeter College and The Oaks.