District honors teachers for excellence in classroom

Published 12:12 am Monday, March 8, 2010

NATCHEZ — Shannon Doughty loves IT work, but her passion for fiddling with computers pales in comparison to her dedication to her students.

It’s that dedication that has earned Doughty the title of Natchez-Adams School District teacher of the year.

Doughty, who has been teaching at the Fallin Career and Technology Center for 10 years, was first chosen by her peers as the school-level winner. District officials chose her from the eight school winners.

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“The other teachers of the year were all top notch, so it was a huge surprise to win,” Doughty said.

Fallin Director Linda Grafton said Doughty, a computer systems technology teacher, is one of those teachers every principal wants to have.

“She is very dedicated and energetic,” Grafton said. “She is always willing to help. Her kids love her, they often come back from college to visit.”

But Doughty takes the Information Technology coursework she teaches seriously, and three years ago she decided to prove that fact to her students.

Doughty took and passed the certification test required to enter the professional IT field. It’s a test she prepares her students for each year.

“I could work in the IT field and make the big bucks, but I stay here and teach the students so they can make the big bucks,” Doughty said. “I took the test to prove to my students that if I can pass the test, they can.”

Doughty will compete for the state title of teacher of the year, to be named on April 23.

West Primary

West Primary’s teacher of the year was Deborah Ellis. West’s Principal, Cindy Idom said Ellis goes beyond the call of duty for her students.

“She teaches special education, and she loves her students,” Idom said. “She is such an asset to our staff, and I’m very proud to have her as one of our team members.”

Frazier Primary

First-grade teacher Lisa Lewis was Frazier Primary’s top teacher.

Frazier’s Assistant Principal Tony Fields said Lewis comes to work every day with a high intensity.

“She is a very energetic teacher,” Fields said. “She is usually the first to get to work and the last to leave campus. She is the kind of teacher that children are drawn to. She does an awesome job.”

McLaurin Elementary

McLaurin Elementary selected third-grade language arts teacher LaTarsha Thomas.

Co-worker Evelyn Geter, who teaches McLaurin’s gifted program, said Thomas is very hard working an organized.

“She works very well with others — where there is unity there is strength,” Geter said. “She is very dedicated to her students and relates to them well.”

Morgantown Elementary

Morgantown Elementary honored choral music teacher Tema Larry.

Assistant Principal LaTonya Robinson said Larry’s style of teaching worked well with students.

“Because of the bond she creates with students, they respond well to her management and rules,” Robinson said. “She’ll step up to the plate whenever you need her, all you have to do is ask.”

Robert Lewis Middle

Ruthie Washington was selected as Robert Lewis Middle School’s teacher of the year.

Assistant Principal Zandra McDonald said Washington, a seventh-grade science teacher, would do whatever it takes to teach a child.

“Ruthie has a great rapport with students and will go to great lengths to teach them,” McDonald said. “She also has a great working relationship with her colleagues and is a real team player.”

Natchez High

Natchez High School honored algebra I teacher Lillie Bryant.

Principal Cleveland Moore Jr. said Bryant was committed to student achievement.

“She holds free tutor sessions before and after school,” Moore said. “Mrs. Bryant is simply a great teacher.”

Central Alternative

Tequita Johnson was Central Alternative School’s teacher of the year.

Central Principal Edward Reed said Johnson was chosen for her work ethic and commitment to children.

“She has been a tremendous team player and is extremely reliable,” Reed said. “Her contribution and dedication to the school are why her peers selected her.”