(11/13/10) Salem High School English teacher Lisa Boyd was named as the 2010 Rockdale County Teacher of the Year in a ceremony on Tuesday that also celebrated all the teachers of the year.
(11/9/10, 7:08 p.m.) Salem High School English teacher Lisa Boyd was just announced as Rockdale County Public School's 2010 Teacher of the Year during the ceremony at Rockdale Career Academy on Tuesday night. Check back to www.rockdalenews.com for more.
In her acceptance speech, Boyd described herself as a quintessentially Southern girl who was taught to send thank you notes. Those that she thanked on Tuesday night included the faculty she taught with and the thousands of students who passed through her classroom.
"Except for evenings like tonight, teaching is a pretty thankless career," she said. "The hours are incredibly long and the strain is overbearing at times. As an educator, I must embrace my students’ smiles and hugs as acknowledgements of what I’ve accomplished, cling to the e-mails I receive from former students."
Boyd said she realized she wanted to teach in a light bulb moment when her college department chair advised her to spend less time with students in the office and more in the library researching. "What an epiphany at that moment," she said. "Sitting in his office, I knew to the core of my being I was supposed to be in the classroom and in my office, working with my students, not in a library."
Boyd, who comes from a line of award winning teachers, thanked her mother, father, who taught her in middle school, aunt and cousin. Her mother, aunt and cousin were "models for what strong female educators should be."
Her most heartfelt thanks went to her husband, Ward. "I sacrifice much for my students, but Ward sacrifices even more, and he does so for me. And for that I am eternally grateful," she said.
Boyd, along with finalists Stacy Roper, JH House PE teacher, and Holly Foster, a first grade teacher at Hightower Trail, were named in surprise announcements on Oct. 22 in their classrooms.
All the school teachers of the year received gift baskets filled with a wide variety of gifts. The finalists also received a $100 check from the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a $50 gift card from Unum, a $50 Target gift card from Cannon financial, a Graffiti Zoo basket from Nu Vision. As the Rockdale County Teacher of the Year, Boyd also received, among other gifts, a $500 check from the Foundation for Excellence in Education and a three-day, two-night stay at the King and Prince resort at St. Simon’s Island – the gift that caused the most excitement among the teachers.
The 2009 Teacher of the Year, Caroline Ingle, was recently diagnosed with leukemia and not able to join the ceremony but did send along words of congratulations in an email.
"I wish I could stand here tonight to cheer for you," she wrote. "Know that you are worthy of that celebration. Lives come through your classroom everyday and you take the time to prepare lessons that supply rigor and innovation to your students"