All nine of Bryan County’s Teachers of the Year for 2008-2009 were recognized with an award during the Board of Education meeting March 27.
During the meeting, each principal had the opportunity to explain why their respective Teacher of the Year stands out among the system’s faculty.
"These teachers represent who teaches the best in your schools," said Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer. "After an evaluation process, the Teacher of the Year for Bryan County will be determined. We will announce who that is in August, before the start of the school year."
The final teachers to be recognized are Cathy Spacher of Bryan County Middle School, Tracey Foxworth of Bryan County High School and Mark Linsky of Richmond Hill High School.
Principal Debbie Hamm said Spacher has been with BCMS for four years.
"In that time, she has challenged students. The last two years, she taught honors English language arts at BCMS. She raises the bar higher and higher and she is a poet in her own right. She can write a poem about most anything and her children write poetry and do an excellent job with it. You walk in her room and her children are smiling and she is smiling. We are very fortunate to have her with us at BCMS."
Spacher, true to form, wrote a poem about it:
My Teacher of the Year Experience (A poem)
To be recognized by a group of my peers,
Was very humbling…but gave me great cheer!
I have taught many years, 24 to be exact,
And this is the first time I’ve been nominated, and that is a fact!
I love to teach and I enjoy what I do,
And to be recognized for this is…
A dream come true!
Principal Harold Roach said Foxworth has helped "bump" up the English classrooms throughout BCHS.
"‘No,’ or ‘I can’t do it,’ or ‘I can’t write this’ are unacceptable in her classrooms – and she’s led this," he said. "I think I came to understand who she truly was at a baseball game. She promised some students she would be at the game to watch them. Then she had two students sitting on a blanket, tutoring them at the same time. To me, that’s that dedication above and beyond – and that’s what she does."
Foxworth said the recognition is a huge honor.
"I work in a great school loaded with wonderful students and faculty members," she said. "To be chosen as Teacher of the Year means so much to me. I am proud to represent my school and my community."
Principal Charles Spann said Linsky first thought his winning was a joke, and that the real nominee would be announced after him.
"He teaches French and his students not only learn the French language, but they learn about the culture and the dynamics of international culture and how it impacts our society," Spann said, noting he’d be happy to have his children and grandchildren taught by Linsky. "He never sends a kid to the office, he handles the problem there and I appreciate that. The kids also appreciate him; he’s a favorite among all of us."
Linsky attributed much of his success to the care and support of the RHHS students, faculty, administration and staff, pointing out it would be impossible to do his job without them.
"I feel honored to be chosen by my peers as RHHS Teacher of the Year. I love teaching and cannot imagine doing anything else," he said. "There are days when I am amazed that someone pays me to something that I enjoy so."
Editor's note: The district's other six Teachers of the Year were previously published.