In Wilson County, teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty are singled out and recognized for their outstanding work, and one is chosen annually to be the Teacher of the Year.
Organizers of the annual Wilson County Teacher of the Year program announced the nominees for the 2013 Wilson County Teacher of the Year. The winner will be honored at the 15th annual Teacher of the Year banquet and ceremony Friday in Baird Chapel at Cumberland University.
Two of Wilson County's most civic-minded individuals and their businesses are responsible for giving the county's top teachers their due. The Teacher of the Year program began almost 16 years ago under the direction of W.P. Bone III, owner of Wilson County Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, and Bob McDonald, president of CedarStone Bank.
"Education is the most important factor in the success of a community," said Bone. "It is fitting that we recognize and congratulate those professionals to whom we entrust the futures of our children."
Each of the 28 schools in Wilson County nominate and elect its own "teacher of the year" from its faculty; nominees are chosen by their peers. Those 28 teachers then complete self-evaluation packets, providing the information for the final judging. The top teachers are not only from the public schools, but also from the many Wilson County private schools, as well.
Past winners of the award meet with nominees and go over the criteria for the award, which have proven to be a great learning experience for all those involved. An anonymous panel of Cumberland University faculty members then selects the Wilson County Teacher of the Year.
Many people play an important role in making the program successful, including members of local businesses and government, school principals, school administrators and the chambers of commerce from Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown. Community leaders throughout the area are on hand during the awards banquet to show their support and gratitude.
"We are very proud of this program as it recognizes educators in our community that go above and beyond their call of duty,” McDonald said. "We at CedarStone Bank are proud to be a part of it. It is wonderful to see our teachers be acknowledged and rewarded for the fine job they do."
The Wilson County Teacher of the Year will receive a $1,500 cash prize and his or her school will net another $500 for their efforts.