The Fayette Citizen-News Page

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

It’s elementary: Three named TOTY finalists

Three unsuspecting teachers got the surprise of a lifetime on Friday when the prize patrol showed up in their classrooms to announce they had been selected as a finalist for Fayette County Teacher of the Year.

Catherine Douthard of Cleveland Elementary, Jennifer Couch of Kedron Elementary or Wynetta Scott-Simmons of Peeples Elementary will be crowned the 2004 TOTY at a special recognition ceremony honoring all of the county’s teachers in April.

The journey to become TOTY is a long process that runs from November to March, beginning at the school level where each building nominates and votes for its TOTY. Each school winner completes an abbreviated version of the TOTY application outlining their teaching standards, philosophies and best practices.

An independent panel of judges made up of former administrators, retired teachers and last year’s TOTY rank the applications and select the three finalists.

The finalists complete the full TOTY application and then are observed in the classroom and interviewed by the judges. The name of the winner is kept top-secret and revealed at the TOTY celebration. The winner goes on to compete in the states TOTY program the following year.

The 2003-2004 school-level TOTY winners are:

• Cathy Robertson, Braelinn Elementary.

• Barbara Harris, Brooks Elementary.

• Catherine Douthard, Cleveland Elementary.

• Peggy James, Crabapple Lane Elementary.

• Donna Borders, East Fayette Elementary.

• Bob Kenner, Fayette County Alternative.

• Bruce Murdock, Fayette County High.

• Brenda Stokes, Fayette Middle.

• Michelle Tarpley, Fayetteville Intermediate.

• Linda Hall, Hood Avenue Primary.

• Mystic Thompson, Flat Rock Middle.

• Susan Naschke, Huddleston Elementary.

• Chris McBarnette, J. C. Booth Middle.

• Jennifer Couch, Kedron Elementary.

• Bunky Colvin, McIntosh High.

• Susan Reed, North Fayette Elementary.

• Anne Bules, Oak Grove Elementary.

• Caroline Mrizek, Peachtree City Elementary.

• Wynetta Scott-Simmons, Peeples Elementary.

• Joliene Price, Rising Starr Middle.

• Donna Baena, Robert J. Burch Elementary.

• Daniel Smith, Sandy Creek High.

• Susan Gittins, Sara Harp Minter Elementary.

• Amy Henley, Spring Hill Elementary.

• Kerry Wright, Starr’s Mill High.

• Judy Caldwell, Tyrone Elementary.

• Mary Ann Velasco, Whitewater High.

• Joyce Blake, Whitewater Middle.

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