Director of Schools Announces Teachers of the Year

Director of Schools Patrick Cripps has announced the 2017 “Teachers of the Year” at the building level of the five schools in the county.
This year’s honoree are Whitney Brelje at Smithville Elementary School; Jessica Hale at Northside Elementary School; Jeanna Caplinger at DeKalb West School; Jenny Elrod at DeKalb Middle School; and Todd Cantrell at DeKalb County High School.
“The Teacher of the Year program recognizes and honors outstanding teachers in Tennessee. We applaud teachers who devote their professional lives to enriching the lives of Tennessee children and who demonstrate exceptional gains in student achievement, while encourage a sense of professionalism and connection with their fellow teachers and community,’ said Director Cripps.
Brelje is a first grade teacher and is in her 4th year as a teacher.
Hale teaches second grade. She is in her 10th year.
Caplinger is in her 23rd year. She teaches Math and Science for the 5th grade.
Elrod is in her 10th year of teaching Reading/Language Arts
Cantrell teaches Career Technical Principals of Machining I and II and Manufacturing. This is his 8th year in the classroom.
Lisa Cripps, Supervisor of Instruction for 7th through 12th grades said “Again this year, we’re going to participate in the Teacher of the Year program, which begins on the school level, moves to the system level, the regional level, and finally to the state level,” she said.
Competition for system-wide Teacher of the Year continues through February, and will be announced at the Teacher of the Year Banquet in the spring. There will be three teachers chosen by a committee to compete at the regional level in March, and if selected they will represent DeKalb County at the state level competition.
The Tennessee Teacher of the Year Program is designed to promote recognition, respect and appreciation for teachers; to stimulate interest in teaching as a career; and to encourage public involvement in education.
The Tennessee Teacher of the Year represents Tennessee at the National Teacher of the Year competition.
Teachers of the Year are selected competitively through five cycles: Building, System, Field Service Core Center Region, Grand Division and State; and from three categories (levels of teaching); Grades Pre K-4, 5-8, 9-12.
Teachers selected at each cycle receive local recognition and awards underwritten by local sources. State recognition/awards include a banquet honoring the nine State Teacher of the Year finalists and certificates of appreciation from the Governor. In addition, the State Finalists and the State Teacher of the Year receive cash awards.

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