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Unicoi County School Board honors district Teachers of the Year

Sue Guinn Legg • Mar 20, 2018 at 9:37 PM

ERWIN — The Unicoi County Board of Education’s Tuesday night meeting was one for the history books as the board celebrated its 2017-2018 districtwide Teachers of the Year.

Chosen by their peers in three grade levels of student instruction and teacher leadership, the honorees were Leslie Franks of Love Chapel Elementary, Alexa Renfro of Unicoi County Middle School and Lori Ann Wright of Unicoi County High School.

Director of Schools John English said the teachers of the year designees faced some tough competition but were ultimately selected by their fellow teachers in recognition of their abilities.

Franks is a third-grade math teacher with seven years of teaching experience, a district math collaborative leader and a cheerleading coach at Unicoi County Middle School.

English said Franks played a lead role in the development of Love Chapel’s House System, which has been instrumental in development of student ownership, community and teamwork.

Renfro is a member of the Unicoi County Middle School school leadership team, a district teacher leader, a collaborative facilitator for middle school grades and a member of the Aspiring Principal Academy Cohort between schools in Unicoi and Carter counties.

She is working to establish a student mentor program that will partner middle school students in need extra social and academic support with trained student mentors at one higher grade level.

Wright is a drama and fine arts teacher with more than 15 years of teaching experience, including five years work at the university adjunct level and 10 years in public schools.

She is the chair of the UCHS Fine Arts Department and a founding sponsor of the UCHS Bluegrass Band, a drama coach for the UCHS Mock Trial team and a sponsor of the UCHS Drama Club.

Her leadership positions within the school system include coordinator of the East Tennessee State University Unicoi County High School Teacher Collaborative, District Level Teacher Leader, Building Level Teacher Leader and Mentor Teacher.

Wright is also a SCORE Tennessee Educator Fellow, vice president of the Unicoi County Education Association, coordinator of UCHS’s Capstone Community Service Program and a Milligan College External Teacher Education Council member.

Elementary School Teachers of the Year recognitions have also been awarded to Christy Miller of Rock Creek, Tammy Peterson of Temple Hill, and Whitney Evely of Unicoi.

In other business on Monday, the school board voted to accept a $196,000 bid submitted from Morristown Roofing for the phase two roof replacement at the high school.

English recommended the bid, saying it was the lowest of two submitted on the project and from same company that completed phase one of the high school re-roofing project last summer.

In an update school security, English thanked the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department and Erwin Police Department for their partnership in armed active shooter response training drills recently completed at two of the county’s five schools and planned for the near future at the remaining schools.

English said the drills have been very successful so far and have alerted the school system to security policies that are in need of further review.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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