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2018 Teacher of the Year

Last Updated: 11/12/2018 3:07 PM

CCSD Celebrates Teachers of the Year at Legacy Makers Banquet

Cherokee County School District 2018 Teachers of the Year pose for a group photo with the School Board and Superintendent of Schools.

Cherokee County School District 2018 Teachers of the Year pose for a group photo with the School Board and Superintendent of Schools.

Watch a video honoring the CCSD Teacher of the Year here.

Read profiles of the school-level Teacher of the Year winners here.

UPDATE 4/17/18:

Cherokee County School District Teacher of the Year Stephanie Vidrine of Woodstock Middle School is a finalist for Georgia Teacher of the Year!  Please join us in cheering her on!

Here’s today’s announcement from the Georgia DOE:

State School Superintendent Richard Woods today announced the 10 finalists for 2019 Georgia Teacher of the Year.

The finalists were chosen from a pool of 150 applicants; all had been previously selected as their school district’s Teacher of the Year. The applications were read by a panel of judges that included teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners and finalists, administrators, community leaders and others. The finalists were chosen based on the strength of their essay responses.

“It will certainly be a difficult decision for our panel of judges to choose who should be the 2019 Teacher of the Year,” Superintendent Woods said. “It is evident upon meeting each finalist that they treat education as more than just a profession — it is their calling. It is my honor to meet each of them as they all are obviously dedicated, quality educators.”

Finalists met with a panel of judges for a formal interview and gave speeches during a finalist luncheon April 16. The winner will be announced May 19, 2018.

The 2019 Georgia Teacher of the Year will travel around the state and the nation, serving as an ambassador for the teaching profession in Georgia. He or she will also be entered in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

The Cherokee County School District honored extraordinary educators with an elegant dinner, tributes and gifts at the 2018 Legacy Makers: CCSD Teachers of the Year Celebration.

CCSD Teacher of the Year Stephanie Vidrine reacts as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower lists the gifts she will receive thanks to donations from community sponsors.

The annual dinner for the CCSD Teacher of the Year and school-level Teachers of the Year was presented Nov. 9, 2017 at the Northside Hospital Cherokee Conference Center in Canton.  The event was made possibly thanks to donations from community partners including Presenting Sponsors: Credit Union of Georgia, Northside Hospital Cherokee and Shottenkirk Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton.

Cherokee County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower congratulated CCSD 2018 Teacher of the Year Stephanie Vidrine of Woodstock Middle School, as well as all school-level winners during the event, which also was attended by CCSD Principals, the Superintendent’s Cabinet and the School Board.

“She’s a shining example of our teaching profession,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “She has shown she’s a tireless advocate for students.  Highly capable, highly accomplished, highly motivated.  I’m so proud she’s a member of the CCSD family.”

Kayli Jones, one of Ms. Vidrine’s former students, gets a hug after her speech.

The CCSD Teacher of the Year is selected by a panel of community leaders who evaluate applications from each school’s Teacher of the Year; school winners are selected by their peers.  Ms. Vidrine, a 20-year teacher, is a two-time school-level Teacher of the Year having previously earned the honor at Etowah High School in 2001.

Kayli Jones, one of Ms. Vidrine’s former students, spoke during the awards ceremony about how Ms. Vidrine not only is an exceptional teacher, but also a mentor and friend.

Ms. Vidrine in her awards dinner speech spoke about the importance teachers have in our lives.  She used personal examples, including the high school math teacher who gave Ms. Vidrine confidence in her own math abilities, and a former colleague who has served as Ms. Vidrine’s teaching mentor since her first day on the job.

Dr. Hightower presented gifts to all of the school Teacher of the Year winners, including a $150 Visa Gift Card, a portrait by Lifetouch National Schools Studio, an engraved plaque and a tote bag filled with supplies and gifts.

David Booth, center, general manager of Shottenkirk Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, presents Ms. Vidrine with the keys to the Jeep Wrangler she will get to drive for the next year.

Ms. Vidrine, in addition to the portrait, plaque and gift bag, received:

  • A one-year lease of the vehicle of her choice from Shottenkirk Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton (she chose a Jeep Wrangler);
  • A $1,000 Visa Gift Card funded by Platinum Sponsor Cherokee County Educational Foundation and Gold Sponsor Hewlett Packard;
  • A $500 Kroger gift card and gift basket valued at $100 from Gold Sponsor, Kroger;
  • An HP Probook laptop from Gold Sponsor, Southern Computer Warehouse);
  • An HP Envy Color Printer from Silver Sponsor, PAGE: the Professional Association of Georgia Educators; and,
  • A Fire HD10 tablet from Bronze Sponsor, Commscope.

Gift bags

Sponsors who made all of the gifts possible are:

  • Presenting Sponsors: Credit Union of Georgia, Northside Hospital Cherokee and Shottenkirk Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton;
  • Platinum Sponsors: Aramark and Cherokee County Educational Foundation;
  • Gold sponsors: Center Cut Catering, Emtec, Hewlett Packard, Kroger, Lifetouch National Schools Studio, Mark Harville Inc., Poole’s Insulation and Southern Computer Warehouse;
  • Silver sponsors: Acopia Home Loans, Batteries Plus Bulbs, Cherokee Education Association, Cobb EMC, ContentKeeper, GC & E Systems Group, Georgia Association of Educators, Kajeet, Path & Post Real Estate, PAGE: Professional Association of Georgia Educators; and,
  • Bronze sponsors: Chick-fil-A of Canton, Commscope, DataON, FloorCare Specialists Inc., Follett, NOVA Engineering & Environmental and Roly Poly of Woodstock.

Centerpiece from dinner

“We truly appreciate the support of the sponsors who contribute financially and give gifts for our Teachers of the Year, so together we can show our community how much we appreciate teachers and the work they do each day to make our future brighter,” Dr. Hightower said.

Ms. Vidrine will drive this Jeep Wrangler for the next year thanks to a donation made by Presenting Sponsor, Shottenkirk Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton. Presenting the donation are, General Manager David Booth, center, and Community Relations Coordinator Ed Denovellis.

Ms. Vidrine will drive this Jeep Wrangler for the next year thanks to a donation made by Presenting Sponsor, Shottenkirk Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton. Presenting the donation are, General Manager David Booth, center, and Community Relations Coordinator Ed Denovellis.

Ms. Vidrine gives her remarks as 2018 CCSD Teacher of the Year.

School Board Chair Kyla Cromer shares greetings on behalf of the Board.

Canton Branch Manager Jason Blakey gives remarks on behalf of Presenting Sponsor, Credit Union of Georgia.

CEO Billy Hayes gives remarks on behalf of Presenting Sponsor, Northside Hospital Cherokee.

 

 

Woodstock Middle School Math Teacher Named CCSD 2018 Teacher of the Year!

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower surprises Cherokee County School District 2018 Teacher of the Year Stephanie Vidrine with flowers during class midday at Woodstock Middle School.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower surprises Cherokee County School District 2018 Teacher of the Year Stephanie Vidrine with flowers during class midday at Woodstock Middle School.

Watch a video from the surprise presentation here.

Woodstock Middle School teacher Stephanie Vidrine shapes math lessons into stories that remain in students’ hearts and minds long after the equations are solved.

Her extraordinary gift for teaching her students, especially those who struggle with math, resulted in an equally impressive honor presented on Tuesday: Cherokee County School District’s 2018 Teacher of the Year.

“Mathematics,” the 20-year teacher said, “is so much more than manipulating numbers and following procedures.  It is art, beauty, creativity, patterns and connections to other mathematical concepts and life experiences.”

The CCSD Teacher of the Year is selected by a panel of community leaders who evaluate applications from each school’s Teacher of the Year; school winners are selected by their peers.

Dr. Hightower gives Ms. Vidrine a congratulatory hug after the announcement that she will represent CCSD as its 2018 Teacher of the Year.

“We’re so proud of her,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower told a room full of Ms. Vidrine’s students after announcing their teacher’s honor. “She’s committed to you and what you do on a daily basis.”

Ms. Vidrine will be honored in November at the annual “Legacy Makers: CCSD Teachers of the Year Celebration” sponsored by Credit Union of Georgia and other community partners.  She also will serve as CCSD’s nominee for Georgia Teacher of the Year; the winner will be named in the spring.

A special new prize for CCSD’s Teacher of the Year was announced as part of Tuesday’s surprise presentation: Shottenkirk Automotive Group – Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton is giving Ms. Vidrine a one-year lease of the vehicle of her choice!  Already overwhelmed by the initial announcement of her new title, Ms. Vidrine was clearly delighted by the additional surprise.

Sales Associate Ed Denovellis, left, and General Manager David Booth present Stephanie Vidrine of Woodstock Middle School with a giant key while telling her that, as CCSD Teacher of the Year, she has won a one-year lease of the car of her choice from Shottenkirk Automotive Group - Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton.

“I’m going to park the van in the garage!” she said, with a laugh, as she received a giant glittering gold key to celebrate the gift.  She then turned to her students to thank them. “You guys are my heart and soul… you make me better.”

Ms. Vidrine, who is a two-time school-level Teacher of the Year having previously earned the honor at Etowah High School in 2001, discovered her passion as a middle school student.

Her eighth-grade pre-algebra teacher had looked her in the eye and said: “You’ll never be any good at math.”

Never say never.

Dr. Hightower tells the class about Ms. Vidrine's qualities and accomplishments that made her stand out from CCSD’s 39 other Teacher of the Year school-level winners.

Ms. Vidrine dedicated the next three years of her studies to deeply understanding math and connected with an Algebra II teacher who believed in her. She earned a perfect score on her Algebra II exam and found her perfect career.

“From that point forward, I wanted to teach mathematics and provide for my students the opportunity to achieve and excel in mathematics no matter their previous level of performance,” said Ms. Vidrine, who went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics education from the University of Georgia.

Her addition of storytelling to math concepts totals a successful combination for students, who appreciate her so much that they stay in touch long after they’ve advanced, graduated and even pursued their own careers in math.

“She teaches in a way that almost prevents you from forgetting,” one student shared. “Almost every unit she taught had a personal story to it… and every story she told always related back to what we were learning, and everyone got excited when she announced she had a story to tell us.”

Woodstock Middle School Principal David Childress adds his congratulations and accolades for a teary-eyed Ms. Vidrine during the surprise announcement.

Principal David Childress recruited Ms. Vidrine to Woodstock Middle School from Etowah High School, where he previously worked alongside her as a fellow math teacher.

“She has a love for teaching the students who often struggle in math,” he said. “Stephanie is a powerful ball of mathematical energy.”

The proof of her powers, he said, is in the numbers: all of her students earned proficient or better scores on their State exams, and pulled CCSD’s highest marks for performance growth.

The improvement comes from hard work – on her part and on the part of her students, like those who choose to attend daily remediation classes she volunteers to hold during lunch.

As one student puts it, her class is like a Dr. Seuss book: a story, a lesson, a delight.

“Her teaching is like no other,” she said. “She is a teacher who I will never forget.”

From left to right: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower poses with Cherokee County School District 2018 Teacher of the Year Stephanie Vidrine and Shottenkirk Automotive Group – Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton General Manager David Booth.

Dr. Hightower leads Ms. Vidrine's class in applauding her selection as the CCSD 2018 Teacher of the Year.

David Booth, General Manager for Shottenkirk Automotive Group - Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton, adds to the surprise announcement by telling Ms. Vidrine she has won a one-year lease for the car of her choice at his dealership.