PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Surry County Board of Education named two local educators to Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year honors Monday in an educational version of the “Prize Patrol.”
First, the board traveled to Pilot Mountain Middle School, where it surprised Neil Atkins with Principal of the Year honors.
“It is an honor every day to come here and be your principal,” said Atkins as he addressed family, staff and students as well as the board, who surprised him during an assembly. “The staff and students here… You’re the reason I’m standing here today.” Atkins said the assembly had played a big role in him being honored. He has served for 11 years with the school system.
Atkins’s wife, Elizabeth, his son Cade, daughters Ellie and Sydney as well as his mother, Margaret Graham, and stepfather, Tom Graham, and mother and father-in-law, Susan and Clark Goings, were on hand to see Atkins honored.
The board then traveled to Franklin Elementary School where they named fourth-grade teacher Janie Martin Teacher of the Year. Martin, a 13-year veteran with Surry County Schools, told the crowd of students, staff and board members forming a gauntlet down the hallway, “This is just Awesome!”
“Thank you, it’s an honor, ” said board member Brian Gates. “You showed us what it means to be a teacher.”
Martin and the class then entertained the board by singing a song about parameters to the tune of “Eye of the Tiger.”
“Nobody wanted this honor more than my kids,” added Martin. “I love what I do. Just to be with these kids. It’s a blessing.”
Superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson told Martin that “the work you do is from the heart. I wish every child could have a teacher like you.”
Teacher of the year nominations are submitted by their own faculty. The candidates must submit a portfolio at the district level and complete an interview process. The field of 19 teachers is then narrowed down to three, which are visited and interviewed by the committee. The scores of the portfolio, the visit and the interview are then combined to determine the overall winner.
A similar process is used for the Principal of the Year, but the field of candidates begins with only seven, which is narrowed down to two. Both honors are for the 2012-2013 school year.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.