Three teachers have been selected as Johnson City Schools’ 2014 Teachers of the Year. A committee of principals, central office administrators, and former district winners chose this year’s recipients who will advance to regional competition for Tennessee’s Teacher of the Year to be announced in October.
Penny Reece-Wrigley (Grades PK-4)
Ms. Reece-Wrigley is a first-grade teacher at Woodland Elementary and is in her fourteenth year as an elementary school teacher. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from East Tennessee State University and a specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University. Reece-Wrigley earned the National Board Teacher Certificate in 2004.
“I feel truly blessed to be serving in a school and school system where the commitment to student achievement and welfare is so evident,” said Reece-Wrigley. “It is an honor to have been selected to represent such an exceptional group of educators.”
“Ms. Reece-Wrigley works diligently to bring excitement and creativity into her classroom,” said Dr. Karen Reach, Woodland Principal. “She is a wonderful teacher, school leader, and professional colleague.”
David Ollis (Grades 5-8)
Of his nine years as a middle grades’ teacher, Mr. Ollis is in his second year as a fifth-grade math teacher at Indian Trail Intermediate. He holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from East Tennessee State University. Ollis serves on the school’s leadership council.
“I feel that Johnson City Schools is one of the strongest systems in the state,” said Ollis. “To represent the many hard-working and dedicated teachers as our district’s Teacher of the Year is definitely an honor and a privilege.”
“Mr. Ollis’s enthusiasm for teaching, his dedication to the profession, and his ability to enable his students to achieve their highest potential make him a joy to work with and an asset to Indian Trail,” said Dave Peccia, Indian Trail Principal. “His students benefit from his commitment to helping them be successful.”
Dr. Gayle Hughes (Grades 9-12)
Dr. Hughes is in her thirty-third year as a math teacher at both middle and high school levels. Hughes has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, master’s degree from East Tennessee State University, specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University, and a doctorate from Liberty University. Hughes currently serves as a Tennessee Common Core Math Coach.
“Because of the standard of excellence I witness daily among my peers, I feel honored and grateful to have been selected for this award,” said Hughes. “The students I serve keep me grounded in what is critical for college- and career-ready math skills.”
Melanie Riden-Bacon, Science Hill principal, believes Hughes is very deserving of this award. “Dr. Hughes is able to implement teaching strategies that reach the student who is at risk, but also reach the very successful student needing to be challenged for advanced level math,” said Riden-Bacon. “It is a blessing to find a teacher who does so well at raising the bar for rigor and high expectations for all students at such broad spectrums.”
Dr. Richard Bales, Superintendent of Schools, knows the process showcases many of Johnson City’s great educators. “These winners are gifted educators who instill in their students a love of learning,” said Bales. “They are all wonderful examples of the importance and the value of exceptional classroom teachers.”