The Jackson County School Board once a year recognizes its top teachers, rookie teachers, and school related employees from every school in the district. Each school nominates one person from each area to represent their school at the annual reception held at Marianna High School. Jackson County Teachers Credit Union is the chief sponsor of this reception. Monday evening, faculty, staff, administrators, family and friends gathered in the cafeteria for refreshments and a social hour prior to adjourning to the auditorium for recognition of the Teachers of the Year, Rookies of the Year and School Related Employees of the year.
Performances by local students of Jackson Count Schools were enjoyed by everyone before the presentation of the candidates in each area. School board member and vice chair Charlotte Gardner elaborated on this year’s theme, “Jackson County is Wild About their educators”. She gave the various definitions of ‘wild’ and thanked everyone in the school system for the amount of work, passion and energy they put into their jobs every day.
Kristopher (Kris) Sampson, from Jackson County Early Childhood Center, was recognized as the recipient of the Vivian R. Ford School-Related Employee of the Year. The look of utter shock on Sampson’s face and the fighting back of tears showed without a doubt how humbled he was at the award. The level of applause from those attending served as proof in the pudding of a well-deserved recipient.
Nikki White from Graceville High School was honored as Jackson County’s Rookie Teacher of the Year. There was more than just the normal excitement for Nikki in that her mother, Shawna Ferguson was present beside her as she was Graceville High’s Teacher of the Year. There was no doubt left in anyone’s mind how proud Shawna was for her daughter when she exclaimed for everyone to hear, “That’s my daughter.”
Last but certainly not least was the announcement of the Teacher of the Year. Trisha Pumphrey was named Jackson County Teacher of the Year. Trisha also had some extra excited family members in the audience. Her husband, Tony Pumphrey, was on stage with his fellow school board councilmen and her father-in-law Doyle Pumphrey was in the audience representing Hope School as their School Related Employee of the Year.
Jessica Craven, principal at Cottondale Elementary was recognized as the Outstanding Principal of the Year with her family and colleagues cheering her on as she fought back tears making her way on the stage.
Jajuan Clark, assistant principal at Graceville High School, was honored as Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year with a round of applause and well wishes filling the air as his name was called.
Congratulations to all our educators and a double congratulations on your awards from the publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times.