Burke top teacher

Published 7:30 pm Friday, September 24, 2010

TEACHER OF THE YEAR is Maribeth Burke from Bainbridge Middle School, who is with Decatur County School Superintendent Fred Rayfield.|Jeff Findley

Maribeth Burke, chorus teacher at Bainbridge Middle School, has been named the 2011-2012 Decatur County School System Teacher of the Year.
Burke, along with each school’s Teacher of the Year, were recognized at the monthly Decatur County Board of Education meeting Thursday night.
Individual school Teachers of the Year include Marie Stapleton from Bainbridge High School, Crycynthia Gardner from Hutto Middle School (who was unable to attend Thursday’s meeting), Melissa Clayton from Elcan-King Elementary School, Jammie Allen from John Johnson Elementary School, Mistee Dean from Jones-Wheat Elementary School, Janie Lockard from Potter Street Elementary School and Lynn Watts from West Bainbridge Elementary School.

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“These teachers have been chosen by their peers to represent their respective schools as teachers who exemplify their best teaching practices,” said Kelly Sessions, chairperson of the Teacher of the Year committee and teacher at Elcan-King Elementary School. “They are dedicated educators who have gained the admiration and respect of their students, their colleagues, and their community.”
Burke was chosen after each of the individual school’s Teacher of the Year nominee submitted an essay describing their teaching style, philosophy and issues facing education currently. The committee also spent time in each nominee’s classroom to judge the interaction with students and teaching effectiveness.
In other business, Fred Rayfield, superintendent of the school system, informed the board of a plan to earn accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) on a district-wide basis rather than a school-by-school basis.
“Going to a district-wide process allows a lot of the school site preparation burden to be lifted, there is still some preparation to be done on the school level, but allows much more involvement from the central administration level,” Rayfield explained.
The renewal cycle for SACS accreditation is every five years. Currently, each school has different renewal years. The district-wide accreditation process would begin next school year and all county schools would be on the same schedule.

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