A select group of first-year teachers in Johnston County Schools (JCS) were recently recognized for their outstanding performance in the classroom this year.
Twenty-six first-year teachers from schools across the county were honored for their efforts at a special event held at JCS Facility Services in Smithfield on Thursday.
The Johnston County Schools Beginning Teacher Support Program introduced each of the nominees for the district-wide honor of JCS Outstanding First-Year Teacher of the Year. Many positive attributes were used to describe each of these wonderful teachers. They were specifically noted as having natural talent in the education field and true assets to their schools.
Kimberley Strickland, a first grade teacher at River Dell Elementary, was named the JCS Outstanding First Year Teacher. Strickland received a plaque from Johnston County Schools and a $500 check from Alison Hudson with Horace Mann Insurance Company.
According to River Dell Principal, Ben Williams, and Strickland’s mentor, Jenny Hudson, Strickland is an innovative educator who teaches students to love learning. Although a first year teacher, she is a leader who plays an integral part in her school team, spearheading programs and helping her colleagues find new ways to track data efficiently. She excels in her content knowledge and is always willing to find new ways to better meet the needs of her students.
“Mrs. Strickland’s pleasant nature, confidence, and positive attitude are contagious, and we are lucky to have such a fantastic and motivated team member,” said Hudson.
Joining Strickland in the top three were Benson Middle School’s Holly Bushhouse and South Smithfield Elementary School’s Heather Ahmed. Ahmed and Bushhouse each received plaques from Johnston County Schools and a check for $250 from the Johnston County Education Foundation.
2015-2016 Nominees for Outstanding First Year Teacher of the Year
Benson Elementary – Nichole Lucas
Benson Middle- Holly Bushhouse
Clayton High – Katelyn Clifton
Clayton Middle – Seth Schachle
Cleveland Elementary -Tina Venturella
Cleveland Middle- Blair Palko
Cooper Elementary – Heather Hansley
Corinth Holders High – Jessica Anstead
Four Oaks Elementary – Sam Watrous
Four Oaks Middle- Chris Hearn
Glendale-Kenly Elementary – Amber Martinez
McGee’s Crossroads Elementary- Allison Hines
Micro-Pine Level Elementary- Mary Sandra Hall
Polenta Elementary – Jennie Poormon
River Dell Elementary – Kimberley Strickland
Riverwood Elementary- Kimberly Smith
Riverwood Middle- Gary Ring
Selma Elementary – Brittany Braswell
Selma Middle – Kimberly Whipple
Smithfield Middle – Sarah Crane
Smithfield-Selma High – Andrew Lockwood
South Johnston High – Shannon Massengill
South Smithfield Elementary- Heather Ahmed
West Smithfield Elementary -Katie Cannada
West View Elementary- Marilee Johnson
Wilson’s Mills Elementary – Cory Merle