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School board honors Unicoi County teachers of the year

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Mar 17, 2017 at 5:46 PM

ERWIN — The Unicoi County Board of Education on Thursday presented special honors to the school system’s 2016-17 teachers of the year.

Kelly Pate, a first-grade teacher at Rock Creek Elementary School, was recognized as the county’s Pre-K-4th Grade District Level Teacher of the Year.

Logan Cannon, a math teacher at Unicoi County Middle School, was named Middle School District Level Teacher of the Year.

Unicoi County High School English teacher Elizabeth Watson was honored as the county’s High School District Level Teacher of the Year.

As district level winners, Pate, Cannon and Watson will advance to the Regional Teacher of the Year competition.

A first grade reading and language arts teacher, Pate serves as a teacher leader for the school system and is frequent presenter at teaching conferences both inside and outside the school system. She serves as parent liaison for Rock Creek Elementary and is instrumental in the coordination of the school’s Literacy Days program and in the submission of applications for multiple grants awarded to the school and to her own classroom.

An eighth grade math and algebra 1 teacher, Cannon also serves as a teacher leader for the school system. He is an active community volunteer with Area 3 Special Olympics, the annual Unicoi County Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society, and the Boys & Girls Club Study Hall program. His Teacher of the Year citation also recognizes Cannon for his creative, hands-on learning strategies and for his ability to inspire a love of learning among his students.

Watson is also a teacher leader for the school system and a member of the high school’s Leadership Team. She is serves as an assistant volleyball and tennis coach, a student council sponsor, an after-school tutor and a teacher with the UC Advance blended learning online program. Her Teacher of the Year citation also recognizes Watson’s efforts to provide a safe, judgment-free atmosphere in her classroom, her efforts to engage students of varying backgrounds, socio-economic classes and academic achievement levels and her work to impact school culture and connections with the community.

Thursday’s Teacher of the Year awards also included Karen Guinn and Eleana Pate of Love Chapel Elementary School, April Hawkins of Temple Hill Elementary School and Tammy Simerly of Unicoi Elementary School.

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

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