At the May 5th meeting of the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory, Rotarian David Moore announced the 2016 Wilmer Jenkins Teacher of the Year for the Hickory Public Schools. The award is given annually in memory of Wilmer M. Jenkins, who served as superintendent of Hickory Public Schools from July 1, 1958 – June 30, 1967 and was a member and past President of the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory.
Kathy Greathouse, Chairperson of the Wilmer Jenkins Teacher of the Year selection committee, noted “this year, as every year, we know full well that the winner is not here with us today. The winners – all 4,400 of them – are studying at desks in schools across our city. With you today are the inspiring teachers who are changing their lives in profound ways”.
Teachers nominated for this year’s award were Kelly Brittain, 6th grade teacher at Northview Middle School, Caroline Brown, media coordinator at Long View Elementary School, Laura Carter, a 4th grade teacher at Viewmont Elementary School, Brian Mulligan, 8th grade math and science teacher at Grandview Middle School, Melissa Oates, marketing, personal finance and sports marketing teacher Hickory High School, Caitlan Reese, a 5th grade teacher at Oakwood Elementary School, Tina Regn, an English teacher at Hickory Career Arts and Magnet School, Yolander Kennedy-Watkins, a 2nd grade teacher at Southwest Elementary School, and Craig Weaver, a 3rd grade teacher at Jenkins Elementary School.
This year the selection committee chose Melissa Jennings Oates, who teaches marketing, personal finance and sports marketing courses in the Career and Technical Education Department at Hickory High School. Ms. Oates is a product of the Hickory Public School system and a graduate of Catawba Valley Community College and Lenoir-Rhyne University. She believes if a teacher shows passion for learning and pride for the school environment, students will have no choice but to be influenced and follow.
Each nominee received a plaque and a check for $500, and the Teacher of the Year received $1,000.
These donations are made possible by the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory’s successful fundraising activities, including the annual Rotarian Idol competition. The Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory’s ongoing commitment of financial support continues to provide necessary educational assistance locally, and is consistent with the club’s continued commitment to and financial support of local educational initiatives.
The Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory was founded in 1921 by Watt Shuford. In adherence to Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self,” the club has a history of giving back to the community through its primary service avenue of education. For more information about The Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory, visit www.hickoryrotary.org.