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Fuller named teacher of the year
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teachers of the year

Jennifer Fuller, a music teacher from Kilough Elementary School, has been named the 2014-2015 system teacher of the year.

She showcases the talents of her students and helps them find their talents, Kilough Elementary Principal Tracey Compton said of Fuller.

Teachers of the year from each school were honored at Monday nights meeting of the Dawson County Board of Education, and Fuller was chosen as honoree for the whole system.

Fuller has been teaching music at Kilough Elementary since the school opened 13 years ago. In addition to general music, she directs an after-school chorus program called Harmony.

She has a passion for teaching and a passion for students, and it shows in everything she does, Compton said.

Fuller said she loves teaching because she loves to watch her students grow in music from year to year. To enrich their lives with all of the aspects of music is certainly a wonderful experience, she said.

When Fuller found out she was selected as Kiloughs teacher of the year, it felt surreal. I am blessed to work with such an amazing group of people, she said. I couldnt believe that I could be the one that was voted for such an honor. I truly appreciate the award and will strive to set a good example for our school.

Each teacher of the year was selected by majority votes from their peers at the school where they teach. Each teacher was reviewed by an outside panel that selected the system-wide teacher.

Fuller will go on to represent Dawson County in the statewide competition for teacher of the year.

The school board also recognized:

Niki Kenny, named Hightower Academys teacher of the year. She has taught in Dawson County for five years and has a 19-year teaching career. She teaches science at Hightower. Kenny said she loves being able to positively affect a students life on a daily basis. I love watching them become excited about science and learning new things, Kenny said.

Kenny felt honored to be chosen as Hightowers teacher of the year. I teach with some amazing people who are all committed to excellence in education.

Hightower Principal Matt Wark said he and Kennys peers think she is outstanding. Niki was chosen for teacher of the year by her peers for being an outstanding teacher and mentor to the students of Hightower Academy, he said. She puts her heart into her job on a daily basis and goes above and beyond for all of her students.

Spencer Wright, selected teacher of the year at Dawson County High School.

I teach in a building with so many great teachers, Wright said. I am humbled and honored to be selected as teacher of the year.

Wright is the choral director and fine arts department head at DCHS. I love making music with my students, Wright said when asked what he loves about teaching. We are so blessed with so many talented students here in Dawson County, and I am so fortunate to get to work with them.

Kathy Hanofee at Riverview Elementary School. You will not find a teacher with more integrity, sincerity, or compassion than Mrs. Hanofee, Riverview

Elementary Principal Julia Mashburn said. She is guided by a high code of ethics that make her a priceless role model to the lives she touches each day.

Hanofee, a special education teacher, said she is inspired by her faculty and staff when it comes to teaching. I am amazed at how well we all work together. We share the good times, the not-so-easy times, with joy and laughter, and with one goal in mind -- doing the best we can for the kids.

Natosha Beary, special education teacher, at Blacks Mill Elementary.

Watching students meet goals and achieve success brings Beary inspiration.

Teaching is a true passion of mine, she said. I enjoy seeing students be successful in the classroom as well as outside of the classroom. Having students meet their goals and seeing the expressions on their face when they do meet their goals is very rewarding.

Mrs. Beary cares for each child she teaches and works with each of them on an individual basis, Blacks Mill Principal Cindy Kinney said. She goes above and beyond to meet the needs of all of her students.

Lisa Bessiere at Robinson Elementary. Bessiere has been teaching kindergarten at Robinson for 13 years. My favorite thing about teaching is the ability to help and observe students grow from seeds in August into blooming beautiful flowers by May, she said.

Robinson Principal Roxanne Howard said it takes a special calling to be a kindergarten teacher, and Bessiere has it. All you have to do is walk into her classroom and know she is an expert teacher; (she has a) model classroom, loves the kids and has relationships with her parents, Howard said.

Ellen Harrison, computer science teacher, at Riverview Middle School.

Harrison said she was shocked to find out she had been voted for the honor.

I was stunned, speechless, Harrison said. Ask anyone. It was obvious; I couldnt formulate a spoken idea to save my life.

Principal Bill Zadernak said that Harrisons being surprised with the honor shows how humble she is. We had her husband and children hiding in the office and she even saw them, but did not conclude that they might be here because she had won the award. That shows that she is authentically humble, Zadernak said.

Kim Dutton, media specialist, for Dawson County Middle School. Assistant Principal Nicole LeCave noted what a hard worker Dutton is. She is the hardest worker I know, LeCave said. She is always working tirelessly for the next day for our students and teachers to return.

In addition to being the schools media specialist, Dutton also supports the schools technology, and helps produce the morning television show. She also is the schools website administrator.

She works tirelessly and a lot of hours to build a media center where our students love to come and learn, LeCave said.

School Superintendent Dr. Damon Gibbs commended all the teachers for their hard work throughout the school year. We are privileged to get to recognize these special folks in our school system, Gibbs said.