Top teachers: TCS honors teachers of year

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Troy City Schools teachers of the year were honored during a board meeting on Monday. Above: CHMS principal Aaron Brown, Hicks, honoree Kelly Knick and Superintendent Dr. Lee Hicks

A trio of Troy City Schools teachers were recognized Monday for their outstanding efforts in the classroom and among their peers.

Jan Baxter-Lee, Kelly Knick and Paula Shute were honored as the teachers of the year during the Troy City Schools Board of Education meeting.

“They are outstanding teachers,” said Dr. Lee Hicks, superintendent. “They are teacher-leaders among their peers and outstanding teachers in the classrooms.”

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The teachers are nominated and selected by a vote of their peers. Baxter-Lee is a long-time teacher at Troy Elementary School; Knick teaches middle school math at Charles Henderson Middle School; and Chef Shute is the instructor of the Culinary Arts program at Charles Henderson High School.

Above: TES principal Theresa Simms, Superintendent Dr. Lee Hicks and honoree Jan Baxter-Lee

“Ms. Baxter-Lee has always been a hugely influential teacher-leader,” Hicks said after the meeting. “She is very well respected by her peers.”

Knick has been with the system about five years, he said. “She does a wonderful job of teaching math at the middle school level, where it is so important for students to learn a solid foundation.”

Above: CHHS principal Brock Kelly, honoree Paula Shute and Hicks.

Shute has done exceptional work with the culinary arts program, he added. “As you know, she’s getting our kids ready to go to Houston to compete in a NASA program,” Hicks said. “They’re doing great things.”

The teachers also earned the praise of the board members, who recognized that educators often are underappreciated for the investment of time and energy they make in students’ success.

“I think many times we don’t appreciate what you do and the time you spend with our children,” said Mark Salmon. “A lot of you go home at night and spend hours working and preparing … thank you.”

Rhonda Pollard concurred. “All of you are truly deserving … and you make Troy City Schools look great every day.”

Roxie Kitchens said she has seen first-hand the commitment teachers make to their students. “I think sometimes parents don’t stop and think about how much time you spend with our children, and I thank you for that,” she said.

In addition to honoring the teachers of the year, the board members approved a quitclaim deed that transfers the Academy Street School property to the City of Troy. “We gave this to the city a long time ago, but I don’t know if it ever came off the books in the courthouse,” Hicks said. “This cleans that up so the city can move ahead with any projects they are planning for the school.”

Board members also approved the 2017-2018 school calendar, which was drafted by a committee of parents, community leaders and teachers and approved by a vote of the teachers and staff. Classes will begin Aug. 9; Christmas break will be Dec. 20 through Jan. 3, 2018; spring break will be March 26-30, 2018; and final day of classes is May 23, 2018.

The board also hired Eugene Murphy as the senior Army instructor at CHHS, and approved the resignations of Kristen Cooper, CHHS math teacher; Chelsey Scott, CHHS science teacher; and Payton Wasden, CHHS history teacher.