08/26/11 — Spring Creek High School teacher earns top honors in district

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Spring Creek High School teacher earns top honors in district

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 26, 2011 1:46 PM

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Spring Creek High School Teacher Jennifer Tyndall smiles during the Wayne County Public Schools Teacher of the Year Banquet and Kemp/Twiford Awards presentation at Walnut Creek Country Club.

A Spring Creek High School teacher has again been named Teacher of the Year for Wayne County Public Schools.

Jennifer Tyndall, a National Board Certified business teacher at the school who has already gained state and national recognition, did her student teaching at the school and became a teacher there in 2006. Last year, she was selected one of 29 teachers in the state to implement the Microsoft IT academy, earning state recognition, and has trained teachers in Wayne County and other districts.

She was also chosen 2010-11 WCPS Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year and in August was named the Certiport North American Teacher of the Year.

In thanking the district for the honor, Ms. Tyndall said it had been a great year and that for her, being a teacher is more than a job -- "it is truly a calling."

"I do not simply teach business," she said. "I connect it to real world scenarios. I believe in assigning meaningful projects that are embedded with the expectations and standards that are demanded in higher education and the world of work."

Her principal, Stephen Clingan, agreed that she will make an outstanding representative for the district.

"She is always willing to help colleagues take on new challenges. She works very well with the students, as her full classes are a testimony to her popularity among the study body."

Her passion for business and technology are well known, he added, as is her own love of learning.

"Last school year, Ms. Tyndall got her students engaged in a community outreach project," he said. "Students solicited local businesses in need of promotional materials, such as business cards, fliers, brochures and other publications. The students then went back to the classroom and provided these using the technology skills learned in her class."

The school also gained prominence by the announcement, as this marks three out of the past four years that a Spring Creek teacher has earned the district honor.

Last year's Teacher of the Year, Scott Hardy, spoke about his experience but did not give the usual travelogue of how he spent his travel/study stipend.

"I did not go on a trip and this is the reason," he said, showing instead a slide of his third child, 72-hour-old son Sutton Thomas Wilson Hardy, born Monday.

He shared that since being named Teacher of the Year, it had been a year of highs -- flying with the Thunderbirds as the "Hometown Hero" -- and lows, when a week later the tornado that blew through Greene County destroyed two of his vehicles and a house. Within days after that, he took a group of students on a Worldview trip that included the United Kingdom and while there, called home and learned his grandmother had just died.

He wanted to return home for the funeral but said his mother told him if he did, his grandmother would "have a fit" and tell him, "the kids come first."

The sentiment applies to every Teacher of the Year from every school, Hardy said.

"You have a thick skin and a tender heart," he said. "And for you, the kids come first."

Ms. Tyndall will now advance to the regional competition. In addition, she will receive a $1,500 check and a $5,000 Kemp/Twiford Worldview travel/study award to be used to travel outside the United States.

The two finalists each receive a $4,000 travel/study stipend.

Sherry Duke, a first-grade teacher at Eastern Wayne Elementary School with 19 years' experience, is elementary Teacher of the Year.

Wendy Thomas, a former instructional assistant who has been an exceptional children's teacher at Greenwood for six of her eight years in the profession, is middle school Teacher of the Year.