First Posted: 5/7/2009
Teachers had been assuring Gina Tompkins that she was a shoe-in for Teacher of the Year for the Mount Airy City School System.
She tried not to put too much faith in what they said.
However, at 1:30 Thursday afternoon, her fellow teachers were proven right as the surprise patrol, made up of central office staff as well as Principal Chad Beasley and Assistant Principal Jennifer Freeman, headed down the fourth-grade hallway at J.J. Jones Intermediate School.
Teachers on her team cheered all along the hallway as she was presented with balloons and congratulated in front of her class. They came from their classrooms to congratulate her, a few even throwing in an I told you.
Tompkins has been teaching school for 15 years, teaching every grade in elementary school except third and even serving as an assistant principal. However, most of her time has been spent in fourth grade, which is the grade she is teaching this year. This is Tompkins fourth year teaching for Mount Airy City Schools.
I love my team. We take care of each other and help each other. Its just great support, she said of her experiences at Jones.
The honor was unexpected and the expression of shock lasted throughout most of the announcement made by Beasley to Tompkins and her class.
It was completely unexpected. I just feel like I need to improve all the time, she said. This system is just full of wonderful teachers.
Tompkins holds a bachelors degree as well as a masters degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
For the committee convened to choose the Teacher of the Year, this years decision was a difficult one. According to Bryan Taylor, assistant superintendent, the choice came down to details associated with each of the four contenders.
It was a very difficult decision. It came down to the very fine details, said Taylor. We felt like she was just a little bit ahead of the others.
He referenced her teaching experience as well as the innovative programs and techniques she uses with her students as things that set her above the other candidates. She teaches to different learning styles by using kinesthetics, music, lights and other interactive techniques to reach everyone.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.