HANCEVILLE – Life is a never-ending lesson, and school is full of the best teacher ever – experience. A symbolic testimony to this statement was alive and well this past Thursday night as teachers, students, parents and supporters sat eagerly awaiting the results of the 2015 State of the Schools/Student & Teacher of the Year event held in Wallace State’s new School of Nursing and Center for Science building.
The suspense continued to build as Superintendents Dr. Doreen Griffeth of Cullman City Schools and Dr. Craig Ross of Cullman County Schools presented their State of the Schools addresses. Dr. Griffeth showed endearing videos of her young students with whom the city teachers work and stated that she and they felt honored to work with Cullman’s children. She also emphasized the city’s impressive growth and plans on the horizon. Dr. Ross equally shared in her passion for what he does. His remarkable success so far was displayed on-screen as he went through the latest figures and plans to push the county schools to be the very best they can be. He expressed an urgent message for educators in the form of teachers ratifying their techniques and methods in order to relate to millennials as they are a hands-on generation.
Following their opening sentiments, Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce President Leah Bolin presented the awards to nominees and, finally, winners. The 2015 Student of the Year Nominees were: Isom Paul Carden, Fairview High School; Aimme Cortes, St. Bernard Prep High School; Hunter Creel, Good Hope High School; Jeffrey “Heath” Dean, Hanceville High School; Seth Donaldson, Cullman High School; Brooke Duke, Cold Springs High School; Destiny Lansford, Vinemont High School; and Kaitlyn Stephens, Holly Pond High School. Lansford was awarded the honor of Student of the Year.
The 2015 Career Technical Student of the Year nominees were Hadyn Ford, Cullman High School; Emily West, Fairview High School; and Blitz Yeager, Hanceville High School. Ford was awarded the honor of Career Tech Student of the Year.
The 2015 Teacher of the Year Acknowledgements for Cullman City Schools were Vanessa Rakestraw of West Elementary as the Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Sara McCutcheon of Cullman High School as Secondary Teacher of the Year.
The 2015 Teacher of the Year Acknowledgements for Cullman County Schools were April Smith of Parkside Elementary as Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Dana Lisle of Hanceville High School as Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Referencing the crowd and the head table, Bolin stated, “These guys are passionate about your kids.” The passion was evident throughout the room with applause and recognition following each awardee. Corporate sponsors for the event included Cullman Electric Cooperative, Cullman-Jefferson Gas and Wallace State. The award sponsor was Knight-Free Insurance.