Out of Richmond Hill Middle School’s 35 nominees, Catherine Warren was recognized as Teacher of the Year on Thursday, Feb. 14.
Warren is a science and social studies teacher for 6th grade and has been at RHMS for the past three years, but has been teaching for more than 20.
"I’m very honored," she said. "We’ve only been here for three years and y’all have just embraced us. You’ve helped support my family. We’ve got one almost through middle school and got another one coming. Thank you so much."
Warren’s family was there to celebrate with her, including husband David and daughters Adrienne and Audra.
Principal Helen Herndon described Warren as "wonderful."
Beth Odom, chairperson of Teacher of the Year Committee, said the state is in charge of the program and provides the guidelines of qualities a Teacher of the Year possesses. Odom said the state requires the Teacher of the Year to win by a majority of 51 percent.
Odom presented Warren with balloons and a cake, as well as a monetary award, which Odom was certain Warren would put into her classroom.
All the certified teachers at RHMS submitted 35 nominees, who were voted down to 16, then six, and finally the top two. Teacher of the Year runner up was Barbara Nettles, who teaches 8th grade math.
The certified teachers were anonymously asked to make their selection based on a teacher who is exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled; a teacher who inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn; a teacher who is respected by students, parents and colleagues; a teacher who is not only active within the school but also the community; and a teacher who is poised, articulate and can withstand a taxing schedule.
Here are some of the comments from Warren’s nominations:
"Catherine works hard to make sure she is teaching GPS standards; finding interesting material for her students and incorporating technology for a progressive classroom," one teacher wrote. "She is frequently asked to be on committees because she is easy to work with, responsible and has a positive attitude. She lives in the community and is active in the local church."
Another teacher pointed out Warren’s knowledge of not just one, but two