Chambers County School District announces teachers of the year

Published 8:00 am Saturday, November 20, 2021

Superintendent Casey Chambley announced Courtney Peacock as the Chambers County School District’s elementary teacher of the year, and Jordan Harris as CCSD’s secondary teacher of the year Wednesday during the school system’s board meeting.

All of the school system’s teachers of the year were honored at Wednesday’s Chambers County School Board meeting. For each teacher, there was a brief projector presentation showing their basic information, classroom, family and a video of a student explaining why the teacher should be teacher of the year.

After the presentations, each teacher was invited on stage to receive a plaque and recognition. Dr. Sheila Jones, director of elementary education, shared what school principals had said about the teachers.

Peacock, who teaches kindergarten at Bob Harding Shawmut Elementary, was praised by her principal Tana Cannon.

“Courtney Peacock is the epitome of a teacher who thinks outside the box, from multiple classroom transformations a year to rock your school activities to her flexible seating,” Jones said. “You never know what you will see in her class. The only exception to this is that you will always see students who are engaged, excited and learning.”

Shana Arrington teaches third grade at Fairfax Elementary. Her school principal, Beth Chandler, had said that Arrington’s classroom reminds people of the Magic School Bus.

“She steps up and shares ideas to create an engaging learning atmosphere,” Jones said. “She makes sure to communicate to her families, including pictures. What a way to start your first year of teaching.”

Mary Spence teaches sixth to eighth-grade math and science at Five Points Elementary. Her school principal Dr. Stephen Hammock had said Spence goes above and beyond what is requested of her every day in order to give back to society.

“Ms. Spence is special because she brings an unparalleled level of expertise to pedagogy, to professional growth, and to empowering students to maximize their potential as citizens,” Jones said.

Teresa Justiss teaches third grade at Huguley Elementary. Her principal, Philip Jenkins, had said that Justiss gives her all and tries to build relationships with all of her students.

“There are several days when Ms. Justiss is the last one in the building, ensuring that she is prepared and ready for the next day,” Jones said.

Jordan Harris teaches agriscience at Inspire Academy. His principal, Dr. Tyler Nelson, had said

Harris inspires his students to have a positive effect on the community and that he’s committed to the success of Inspire Academy.

“He pushes his students to develop a hunger for knowledge and encourages them to learn, experiencing the world beyond the confines of his classroom,” Jones said.

Coach Thaddius Tucker teaches English language arts at John P Powell Middle School. His principal, Christy Brock-Johnson, said Tucker is no ordinary English teacher and that he’d have students in the front of the class teaching, sharing Google slideshows and debating over stories they had read.

“Coach Tucker greets the secretary, Ms. Magby, in the morning by opening the office door with his proper English accent of ‘Good morning’ to start our day off on a happy note with laughter,” Jones said.

Coach Jeremy Ricks teaches physical education at Eastside Elementary. His principal Allyson Matthews had said Ricks can discipline a student swiftly without compromising their relationship and that he knows which buses his students ride.

“When asked to do anything extra, Coach Ricks always responds with, ‘No problem,’ which is a true blessing,” Jones said.

Kaprice Smith teaches graphic arts at Lafayette High School. Her principal, Nicholas Davis, had called her the most detail-oriented person there is.

“She’s a perfectionist in a good way,” Jones said. “Ms. Smith does so much behind the scenes, and she makes all of the visuals at LaFayette High School. The school gets a lot of good press and good looks because of her ingenuity in graphic design.”

Candace Yarbrough teaches third grade at Lafayette Lanier Elementary. Her principal, Rusty Newton, had said she’s very determined and holds her students to a high standard.

“And she always tells her principal, and I thought this was kind of cute, that she will be the principal — I don’t think Mr. Chambley even knows this — that she will be the principal in the absence of Mr. Rusty Newton,” the praise read.

Carita Glaze teaches ninth through 12th-grade science at Valley High School. Her principal, Montray Thompson, said she’s dependable and consistent with being “present for, productive in, and positive with student engagement.”

“She’s genuine,” Jones continued. “She’s personable and authentic with offering to assist with all before and after school activities. She’s professional.”

Kitty Deloach teaches sixth through eighth-grade band and is the band director at W F Burns Middle School. Her principal, Andrew Leak, said she “exemplifies the epitome of what it means to educate beyond the call of duty,” inspires her students, and has a positive impact on others.

“Ms. Deloach has a quality music education and band program that reaches beyond the scope of student impact,” Jones said. “Past and present students, parents, and staff of W F Burns Middle School benefit daily from Mrs. Deloach’s genuine passion for teaching, inspiring and leading.”

Chambley said this year teachers of the year were nominated by community members, including students, school staff and other teachers.

“We wanted to get a lot of input from a lot of different people because the teachers aren’t just teachers of the year for the teachers in that building,” Chambley said. “They are the teacher of the year for all of their students and all of those parents they go to and see during PTO meetings and during football games and prom events and all the other events that they go to.”