JJE’s Moore named Teacher of the Year

Published 4:24 pm Friday, September 22, 2017

John Johnson Elementary music teacher JoAnn Moore was awarded the Decatur County Teacher of the Year award Thursday.

“Growing up I wanted to be a teacher, then I wanted to be a rock star and a mommy, which all lead back to teaching. It was high school when I decided I wanted to be a music teacher,” Moore said.

Although Moore’s path was winding, her passion for children and music was obvious as she was named John Johnson Elementary’s Teacher of the Year.

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Being named an elementary school teacher of the year qualified Moore to be the district’s teacher of the year. During the Decatur County Board of Education meeting Thursday night, Moore fulfilled her dream of becoming the teacher of the year for the district.

“We have so many good teachers in the county and I was fortunate to be one of them,” Moore said.  “It was a surprise to know that people thought that much of me.”

Principal Tammi Godwin thought it was no surprise and that Moore was deserving of this honor. Godwin and Moore go way back. Godwin was originally a band director when Moore transferred from Cairo High School to work with the program. The women then moved to John Johnson Elementary where Godwin said when you enter the classroom it’s all about the kids and what she can do to reach the kids.

“Music is a class not every kid wants to go to,” Godwin said. “They’ll say I don’t like music, or I don’t know music, but Moore finds a way to reach them.”

Moore is able to make connections through having the kids move around, get in groups, or sing songs about their subjects, such as social studies or science. Seeing the kids move around and sing is one of Moore’s favorite parts about teaching.

Throughout her 14 years at John Johnson, one of her favorite memories is the Christmas program. She said the kids start practicing in about mid-October, and although they sometimes complain everything comes together at the end and creates a beautiful program.

Moore’s daughter, Natalie was in attendance Thursday night when her mom was presented with the award and said, “I think she’s a great mom, and even if she didn’t win teacher of the year I would still think she is the best teacher.”

Moore is so thankful to everyone and will now compete at the state level for Teacher of the Year.