County school board honors top educators

County school board honors top educators
County school board honors top educators | County school board honors top educators
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
Thirteen teachers who are at the head of their class have been honored as the Obion County School System’s Teachers of the Year.
The top educators at the building and system levels were recognized Monday night by the Obion County School Board.
Three of the school level honorees — Amanda Haynes, Jeanne Foster and Maria Matheny — were also tabbed as the systemwide Teachers of the Year for grades preK-4, 5-8 and 9-12, respectively.
All three graduated from Obion County Central High School in recent years.
Ms. Haynes is librarian at Hillcrest Elementary School. She graduated in 2001 from OCCHS and in 2005 from the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Mrs. Foster, who teaches preK-5 music and grades 6-8 band at Lake Road Elementary, graduated from OCCHS in 1994 and Austin Peay State University in 1999. She and her husband, Ped Foster, have two children, Garrett and Emmalee.
Mrs. Matheny, a 2000 graduate of OCCHS, earned a bachelor of science degree in education in 2004 from UT Martin and a master of arts degree in math education in 2009. She teaches algebra and geometry at OCCHS, where she is also the SADD sponsor, and she is married to Waylon Matheny.
The Obion County School System’s building level Teachers of the Year include:
• Black Oak — Ali Perkins, preK-4; and Jenifer Wilder, grades 5-8.
Ms. Perkins is a kindergarten teacher who graduated from OCCHS in 1996 and from UT Martin in 2003. She enjoys gardening and reading.
A fifth- and sixth-grade math teacher, Mrs. Wilder graduated in 1984 from OCCHS and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1988 and a master’s degree in 1998 from UT Martin. She and her husband, Brian Wilder, are the parents of a daughter, Brianne.
• Hillcrest — Ms. Haynes, preK-4; and Barbie Orr, grades 5-8.
Mrs. Orr, who teaches fifth-grade science and social studies, graduated from OCCHS in 1979 and from UT Martin in 1983. She is married to Bart Orr and they have two children, Brandon and Brandy. She also serves as treasurer of the Obion County Education Association and president of Alpha Eta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and attends Beech Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
• Lake Road — Janet Keathley, preK-4; and Mrs. Foster, grades 5-8.
Mrs. Keathley is a kindergarten teacher who has been teaching for 25 years, with 20 of them in the Obion County School System. She graduated from Union City High School in 1977 and earned a bachelor of science degree in 1982 and a master’s degree in 1990 from UT Martin. She and her husband, Barry Keathley, have three children, Jeremy Keathley, Justin Keathley and Katie Keathley.
• OCCHS — Mrs. Matheny, grades 9-12.
• Ridgemont — Peggy Nichols, preK-4; and Paula Jones Webb, grades 5-8.
A second-grade teacher, Mrs. Nichols graduated from South Fulton High School in 1967 and from UT Martin in 1970. She is married to Ralph Nichols and they have a son, Dan Nichols. She credits her long teaching career to the enjoyment she receives “seeing my students progress and accomplish their goals.”
Mrs. Webb, a fifth-grade social studies and eighth-grade American history teacher, is in her 41st year of teaching and has had eighth-graders every year since she began. She graduated from OCCHS in 1967 and from UT Martin in 1971. She is married to Ronnie Webb and they are the parents of Dana Webb Mabry, a first-grade teacher in Nashville, and Robert Wade Webb, who works with his father in construction.
• South Fulton Elementary — Melissa Merritt, preK-4; and Alisha Hedge, grades 5-8.
Mrs. Merritt is a pre-K teacher who graduated from Westview High School in Martin in 1992. She graduated from UT Martin in 1996 and Arkansas State University in 2010. She and her husband, Chris Merritt, are the parents of Grace Ann Merritt and Jack Merritt.
A fifth-grade reading, social studies and science teacher, Mrs. Hedge earned her degree from UT Martin in 2006 after graduating from South Fulton High School in 2002. She is married to Jesse Hedge and they have two children, Jacob Hedge and Hannah Hedge. She is currently the worship leader at The People Place Assembly of God and is working on her master’s degree in educational leadership at UT Martin.
• South Fulton Middle/High School — Kathy Cassetty, grades 5-8; and Bill Gray, grades 9-12.
Mrs. Cassetty teaches seventh-grade math and TCAP prep at her school. She graduated from Ruleville (Miss.) High School in 1966 and Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss., in 1970. She and her husband, Ed Cassetty, have two children, Eric Cassetty and Mindy Halverson.
Gray is in his 35th year of teaching at South Fulton High School and is being honored as a Teacher of the Year for the fourth time. A dual credit American history and econ/government teacher, he graduated from SFHS in 1973 and from UT Martin in 1977, then earned a master’s degree in 1983 and a master’s plus 45 in 1987 from UT Martin. He and his wife, Katie Gray, are the parents of William Tyler Gray and April Leigh McDaniel and they have three grandchildren.
Obion County School Board chairman Brian Rainey presented each building level honoree with a plaque and the three system level honorees each received a special gift. Published in The Messenger 4.10.12

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