08/26/09 — County will pick top teacher at Thursday event

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County will pick top teacher at Thursday event

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 26, 2009 1:46 PM

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Gregory Brown

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Sonja Collins

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Bill Joyner

Wayne County Public Schools' "Teacher of the Year" will be announced on Thursday evening, from a pool of three finalists.

The annual recognition will be held at the Walnut Creek Country Club at 6:30 p.m.

Earlier in the spring, a representative from each of the 32 public schools was announced. The field has been narrowed down to one representative each from the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Finalists include Gregory Brown from the elementary schools; Sonja Collins from the middle schools; and Willie Ray "Bill" Joyner II from the high schools.

Brown has 19 years of teaching experience, 14 of those at North Drive Elementary, where he is a reading recovery teacher and works with first and fourth grades.

Ms. Collins, an eighth grade math teacher at Norwayne Middle for the past four years, has 11 years in the profession.

Joyner is also a veteran teacher, with 19 years experience. The grades 9-12 math teacher has been at Southern Wayne High School for the past two years.

Principals from their respective schools called the educators the top in their profession and said they will make fine representatives of their peers and colleagues in the county.

"Mr. Brown consistently creates a positive and nurturing environment for the students in his class," said Carol Artis, principal at North Drive. "His approach to teaching and students reflects the expertise, standards, morals and characteristics that are associated with the term 'outstanding teacher'."

Mario Re, principal at Norwayne called Ms. Collins "an incredible teacher" who knows how to get the most out of her students.

"Ms. Collins integrates technology and manipulatives into her program in order to create more interesting lessons which in turn keeps her students more engaged," he said. "She also has excellent management skills which are crucial in getting the most out of her students."

"Mr. Joyner connects with his students because he fundamentally understands that rigor, relevance and relationships, although three separate words, are in fact interrelated and interdependent," said Dr. John Boldt, Southern Wayne principal. "He leads by example and with enthusiasm and would be a great representative of a great school system."

The "Teacher of the Year" will win a $5,000 travel/study stipend, a $1,500 check and go on to compete against candidates from other school systems in the regional competition. The two finalists will receive a $4,000 travel/study stipend.