RHESstaffVideo from the ceremony.
The Teacher of the Year and Paraprofessional of the Year for Richmond Hill Elementary School were announced on Feb. 21 in a ceremony at the school.
The awards are voted on by the staff.
RHES Teacher of the Year went to Joanne Callahan, with Shannon Robertson as the runner up, while RHES Paraprofessional of the Year went to media center administrator Michelle Auger, with Jane Qua as the runner up.
Callahan has been teaching for 15 years. Seven of those years were in Bryan County, with previous experience at schools in New York and North Carolina.
"I love children and I just do the best I can with them everyday and try to make learning fun and interesting," Callahan said. "I’m here from 7:30-5 everyday and I take a lot of pride in my work. I enjoy it too."
"I’m extremely proud of her," her husband Brian Callahan said. "She’s been the teacher of the year every year I’ve known her in my mind.’"
RHES Principal Walt Barnes said Callahan is the perfect candidate for this award.
"Miss Callahan is the kind of teacher whose class you would want your own child in," Barnes said. "The best way I could describe her is well balanced. She’s consistent and firm, she listens to the concerns of the students, she’s got a big heart – there are a lot of reasons why they chose her and I couldn’t be prouder to have her on staff at Richmond Hill Elementary."
Paraprofessional of the Year award, Auger said she was ‘surprised and honored’ to receive it.
"She always gives 120 percent and she’s great with the kids," Barnes said. "She just knows what is appropriate for her position and shows it each and every day. Her tone of voice, her work ethic, her attitude – all outstanding. That’s why she was chosen."
Her husband Tim Auger burst into the room with their children following the announcement.
"I think she really deserves this," he said. "I know, on the home front, we couldn’t run the household without her. She loves her job. She has several different degrees out of college and she could pretty much go out and do a lot of different things if she wanted to, but she enjoys working here with the kids and the fellow professionals here at RHES. She’s always wanted to give back to the community more than doing something for herself, and that’s her way of doing it. She enjoys her place and she tells me it’s worthwhile and rewarding to her."