Cindy Stephenson, Ellen Myers Elementary

Teacher of the Month - January 2009

Cindy Stephenson, Ellen Myers Elementary

Cindy Stephenson, with 6 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist Matt Hinkin Cindy Stephenson, with 6 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist Matt Hinkin

Congratulations to Cindy Stephenson, our teacher of the month for January 2009.

Ms. Stephenson is a special education teacher at Ellen Myers Elementary School in Harrogate.

Here is her nomination:

1. I have been in the education field for more than 16 years now and have never seen a more dedicated teacher to her students than Cindy. Her life literally revolves around the group of kids that she teaches.

2. She not only teaches the kids during the day but also has homebound students that she visits as well. She is like the postal service, neither rain nor snow nor sleet slow her down. Her days to be with them are the only days she gets them so she will not waste them because of bad weather.

3. She has made such an impact on the community of the school that she knows the name of every student in the K-4 school. How many other teachers take the time to learn all the kids names and make them feel special? She has a unique ability to make each and every student feel like the most important person in the school. It is quite impressive watching her roam thru the cafeteria and the interaction with the kids that she has.

4. We all know that you don't get into teaching because you want to get rich. My point is that Cindy is not a wealthy person in terms of finances, but I've watched her continually spend hundreds of her own dollars to purchase things for her kids that she feels that they must have. This is not a sometimes thing, this is an all the time thing with her. That may not sound like a big deal to most but it is another way that shows how Cindy puts her kids way before she puts herself.

5.) Let's talk about the hours that she puts in. While some teachers put their time in and then some, Cindy puts time in and then some and then some more. She practically lives at Ellen Myers Elementary. Honestly, I've asked her when Claiborne Co. schools went to 6 day weeks because she works practically every weekend. Not only that but she works the entire summer as well. She continues to see her students who have made tremendous strides during the year so they will not lose anything while away over the summer. You could ask any of the parents of the students she teaches and they will all tell you the same- Cindy Stephenson is a God send to them and their kids. Her passion for the kids is evident and it is a shame that she has never won this award. I hope to change that because Cindy Stephenson is by far the most dedicated teacher that I have ever met or known. How many do you know that put school time in on Christmas Eve? I only know one.

6. Lastly, I nominate Cindy Stephenson because it is the right thing to do. Teachers are not in this business for recognition I realize but when it is deserved, I feel that person should be recognized for the impact they make on the kids. You cannot go any where in Harrogate where she will not get a huge hug for any of the students who always run up to her for a hug. I'm amazed at how positive she is with the kids at all times. She has a special ability to connect with the students in every grade and provide a welcoming smile, touch or words that seem to brighten even the saddest ones up. Cindy is a special teacher, one who is long overdue having this recognition for her effort everyday. If she knew that I were writing this, her response would be to not do it and to let it go. But I can't do that, she deserves for people to know her story and passion that she has for the kids.

7. One last thing I would like to throw in about Cindy; she is also the chair of the Relay For Life Claiborne Co. They are one of East Tennessee's biggest earners for the American Cancer Society. The success of the Relay is in direct correlation with Cindy becoming the Chair of their committee. I believe in paying it forward and this is my attempt to let people know about the great things that she is doing for Claiborne Co. She is making a tremendous impact on a lot of different peoples lives in a lot of different ways.

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