Ashe County Schools is pleased to announce the 2012-13 Teacher of the Year Dr. Mandy Taylor, and Teacher Assistant of the Year Sandra Simms.
Ashe County Schools Central Office Staff visited Westwood Elementary School May 3 to honor Dr. Mandy Taylor, academically gifted (AIG) specialist, as Ashe County Schools Teacher of the Year for 2013-2014 school year. Each spring, schools select a Teacher of the Year to represent faculty and staff during the following school year.
The Ashe County Schools Teacher of the Year is chosen from among these Teacher of the Year nominees based on a portfolio entry and formal interview.
When asked why she chose education as her profession, Dr. Taylor stated, “The reason I choose education as my profession is because I was reared by parents who had a service heart. Helping other people was modeled in front of me daily. By the time I was in sixth grade, I knew I wanted to help other people by serving as a teacher.”
Dr. Taylor began her career in Cleveland County Schools at Kings Mountain Middle School where she taught reading, language arts and science in 1996. She began her teaching career with Ashe County Schools in 1999 as the AIG specialist and has continued in that role to the present.
She received her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2003 from Appalachian State University and has recently completed all requirements to earn her PhD in Education from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Dr. Taylor also earned her National Board Certification for Professional Teaching Standards in 2003.
In her written entry, Dr. Taylor addresses many great visionaries in education, one of which was John Dewey and his belief of being a “life-long learner.” She states if she could help students acquire the curiosity and habit of seeking understanding, and help them find the tools to answer their own questions, she believed she had equipped students for life beyond elementary education.
“I believe that classrooms are student-centered when students’ voices are heard, choice is engaged, and students are coached to become responsible for their learning,” she wrote.
Westwood Elementary Principal Jennifer Robinson said, “Dr. Taylor deserves this recognition. She is a tremendous asset to Westwood Elementary School and Ashe County Schools. She works tirelessly to plan lessons to challenge her students, and help them to become 21st century leaders. “Mrs. Mandy,” as she is known by her students, collaborates with her parents, students, teachers, and administration and is willing to help in any way.”
Taylor and her husband, Dr. Shane Taylor, reside in Ashe County.
The selection committee commented during the process that the decision was difficult. All of the teachers interviewed exemplified excellent in their profession.
For 2013-2014, Ashe County High School’s Teacher of the Year is Jennifer Phipps, CTE Business teacher.
The Teacher of the Year for Ashe County Middle is Stephanie Stolt, 7th grade language arts and social studies teacher.
Blue Ridge Elementary Teacher of the Year is Allison Shoemake, 4th grade teacher.
The Mountain View Elementary Teacher of the Year is Jana Baldwin, kindergarten teacher.
Ashe County Schools is fortunate to have effective, highly qualified teachers who deliver instruction with passion and prepare our children to succeed.
Dr. Taylor is eligible to complete in the Northwest North Carolina Teacher of the Year competition in September. For more information about the North Carolina Teacher of the Year program, please visit http://www.ncpublicschool.org/recruitment/recognition/toy
Assistant Teacher of the Year
Teacher assistants play a vital role in the education of Ashe County students and we value their dedication and on-going service to our schools. These para-professionals provide instructional support and clerical assistance for the classroom teacher daily, and are constantly in motion from the time they arrive until they leave.
Mrs. Sandra Simms is a teacher assistant at the kindergarten grade level. Mrs. Simms has worked for Ashe County Schools since 2001 in different capacities including substitute teacher, tutor and part-time assistant. She has been employed as a full-time assistant since August 2007.
She states, “I love working with children and I try hard to be a key resource by providing support for my students, their parents, and my school. As such I hope to enable students to become more independent learners and raise standards of achievement for all pupils.”
The criteria for selection included
- Employment as a teacher assistant with Ashe County Schools for a minimum of three years
- Must possess characteristics of a team player exemplifying collaboration and a willingness to be flexible and understanding
- Provide a source of positive and enthusiastic energy in the classroom • Exhibit compassion toward the students
Each school nominated their Teacher Assistant of the Year to represent their colleagues during the 2012-2013 year. The following teacher assistants were nominated by their peers: Linda Sloan, Ashe County High School; Sara Houck, Ashe County Middle School; Linda Campbell, Blue Ridge Elementary School; Michelle Davis, Mountain View Elementary; Sandra Simms, Westwood Elementary.