Each of the 29 schools in Wilson County, both public and private, starts a yearly process by determining its own Teacher of the Year. Those top educators are determined through nomination and election by their peers in their home school. They then each receive a special self-evaluation packet to be submitted for final judging. At a reception held in February, this years 29 Teachers of the Year met with the organizers and previous winners. The 2012 candidates went over the criteria processing materials and received clarification and tips on completing their applications.
Once turned in, the packets have all identifying names removed to make the application anonymous. These 29 packets are then turned over to Cumberland University. A special panel of Cumberland University faculty, chosen for their own similar experiences in teaching, remains nameless while determining the ultimate winner, THE Wilson County Teacher of the Year. This winner is kept secret until the presentation on the night of the banquet.
Fifteen years ago through the efforts of Bob McDonald, president of CedarStone Bank, and W.P. Bone III, owner of Wilson County Motors, the program was designed.
Education is the most important factor in the success of a community, Bone said. It is fitting that we recognize and congratulate those professionals to whom we entrust the futures of our children and are the cream of their profession.
Many members of the local community including businesses, schools, chambers of commerce and government in Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown come together to honor these superb professionals. This is very evident when they all turn out the night of the banquet to show their support and gratitude for these educators who have exceeded and excelled in their vocation.
We are very proud of this program as it recognizes educators in our community who go above and beyond their call of duty, McDonald said, and we, at CedarStone Bank, are proud to be a part of it. It is wonderful to see our teachers be acknowledged and rewarded for the fine job they do.
The winner will be presented with a $1,500 cash prize and his or her school will receive another $500.
The 29 nominees for the 2012 Wilson County Teacher of the year and their schools follow.
Melissa Campbell, Byars-Dowdy Elementary School
Juliana Bishop, Carroll-Oakland Elementary School
Sherry Manners Eskew, Castle Heights Elementary School
Melanie Botts Quinn, Coles Ferry Elementary School
Amy Steed, Elzie D. Patton Elementary School
Cathy Carey, Friendship Christian School
Jennifer Conatser, Gladeville Elementary School
Laura Cates, Lakeview Elementary School
Kate Plumlee, Lebanon High School
JustinAngel, MAP Academy
Tonya Boyer, McClain Christian Academy
Jenny Runyon, Mt. Juliet Christian Academy
Elizabeth McDaniel, Mt. Juliet Elementary School
Theresa Wright, Mt. Juliet High School
Debra Martin, Mt. Juliet Middle School
Shaunna Davis, Rutland Elementary School
Natalie Trice, Sam Houston Elementary School
Linda Davidson, Southside Elementary School
Bonnie Lane, Stoner Creek Elementary School
Nicole Williams, Tuckers Crossroads Elementary School
Patti Brandt, W.A. Wright Elementary School
Linda Badger, Walter J. Baird Middle School
LaConda Dodd McKinney, Watertown Elementary School
Burton Keith Goolsby, Watertown High School
Stephanie Jernigan, West Elementary School
Carolyn Washing, West Wilson Middle School
Malissa A. Pitts, Wilson Central High School
Sherry LaNelle Buchanan, Wilson County Career Technical Center
Tammy Sheppard, Winfree-Bryant Middle School