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2017-2018 Mississippi Teacher of the Year

 

Dear Fellow Educators,

How blessed we are to have the opportunity to impact the lives of the young people of our great state. Thank you for the selfless commitment that you have made to do so.

Serving as Mississippi’s Teacher of the Year, I have the unique privilege to both speak words of encouragement to the teachers of our state and to serve as the voice for our state’s teachers. This opportunity is something that I do not take lightly, because the research is clear: teachers matter. They matter a lot. In fact, teacher quality is the single biggest determinant of student success.

We must make our professional growth a priority. We must become comfortable with failure, willing to reflect on failure, and committed to doing whatever research suggests it takes to improve. We must be forgiving of ourselves for our imperfections but discontent with remaining where we are. Additionally, we must make a priority of connecting with people who are far smarter and more skilled than we are and learning from them, acknowledging that we cannot walk the road alone.

Put concisely, we must seek to Grow Together.

In his book Start With Why, Simon Sinek challenges his readers to consider WHY they get up in the morning. Forget about WHAT you do for a moment, and ask yourself what your WHY is. Your WHY is the purpose, cause, or belief that inspires you to do what you do.

I want to add value to others. In my best of times, my WHY is front of mind. It gets me through the trying times, the dull times, the frustrating times. When I receive recognition for the job I do, my WHY reminds me that it’s not about me—it’s about others. It draws me back in when I feel discontent with my career, when that lower stress, higher paying job somewhere else looks so appealing. My WHY reminds me that I am right where I need to be, breathing life into young people, some of whom have not another soul in their world who want greatness for them.

So today, I ask you: What is your WHY? Is it big enough? What would you be willing to do in order to make your WHY a reality?

The students of our state need us. My prayer is that we would all make the most of this great opportunity that we have to shape the future. My prayer is that we would all Grow Together during this 207-2018 school year.

Welcome back!!


Much Love,

Luke Daniels
2017-2018 Mississippi Teacher of the Year
luke.daniels@petalschools.com


Mississippi Teachers of the Year

Year

Name

School/District at time of selection

1979

Earnestine Madison

Vicksburg High School, Vicksburg

1980

Imogene Thompson

Meridian School District, Meridian

1981

JoAnne Reid

Weir Attendance Center, Weir

1982

Tommy Williams

Wingfield High School, Jackson

1983

Martha H. Morrow

Columbia Primary School, Columbia

1984

Bess Moffatt

Pascagoula High School, Pascagoula

1985

Carol Madden

Wingfield High School, Jackson

1986

Zelma Conerly

Lawhon Jr. High School, Tupelo

1987

Edward Wong

Vicksburg High School, Vicksburg

1989

Nelle DeLoach Elam

Starkville High School, Starkville

1990

J. P. Luby

Holly Bluff Line School, Holly Bluff

1991

Mary L. Davidson

MS School for Mathematics and Science, Columbus

1992

Betty Whitlock

Clinton High School, Clinton

1993

Lois Eve Rodgers

Hattiesburg High School, Hattiesburg

1994

Carolyn Cadney

Biloxi High School, Biloxi

1995

Sheba Brown

Jeff Davis Elementary School, Biloxi

1996

Julie A. Ferris

Webster Elementary School, Yazoo City

1997

Martha Hutson

Sumner Hill High School, Clinton

1998

Tina Scholtes

Sudduth Elementary School, Starkville

1999

Mary Beth Boyer-Black

Amory High School, Amory

2000

Jackie Parker

Tupelo Middle School, Tupelo

2001

Renee Moore

Broad Street High School, Shelby 

2002

Dr. Paul Cuicchi

Starkville High School, Starkville

2003

Andrew Lark

Starkville High School, Starkville

2004

Dr. Christina Daniels

Picayune Center for Alternative Education, Picayune

2005

Betty Belinda Hopkins

Saltillo Elementary, Lee County

2006

Lee James

Choctaw County Career and Technology Center, Choctaw County

2007

Cheryl Beene

Center Hill High School, DeSoto County

2008

Chantelle Herchenhahn

Forest High School, Forest Municipal

2009

Stacey Donaldson

Murrah High School, Jackson Public

2010

Brad A. Shonk

Groenflo Elementary School, Biloxi Public

2011

Birdette Hughey

Greenwood High School, Greenwood Public

2012

Stacey Todd

Oak Grove High School, Lamar County School District
2013  Joshua Lindsey
Hancock High School, Hancock County Schools

2014  Mary Margarett King

New Albany High School, New Albany Schools
2015  Anna Morris

Oak Grove Lower Elementary School, Lamar County School District
2016  Jodi McKenzie

Gautier High School, Pascagoula Gautier School District
Mississippi Teacher Center     P.O. Box 771     Jackson, MS 39205-0771     Phone: (601) 359-3631     Fax: (601) 359-2778
 

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