Each year, the Marion School District teachers vote for a colleague that exemplifies the best of the best for that school year. This year's district representative comes from Marion Math, Science and Technology magnet school - Mrs. Sarah Sagaskey. However, the other campuses also chose the teacher that represents them as their excellence in education.
From Herbert Carter Global Community magnet Mrs. RoShawnda Dennies was their choice. Ms. RoShawnda Dennies, a 12 year educator, was chosen by HCGC as their 2020 Teacher of the Year. Dennies has been with the district 5 years and is elated that HCGC picked her to represent their campus as an example of teaching excellence. She said, “I love what I do everyday; however, I’m not always sure I’m doing the right thing, so it’s nice to be noticed.” She feels like at HCGC she has found not only an excellent work environment but a family. She is happy to show up at work each day. She appreciates her paraprofessionals because without them she’d be completely lost. Her motivation to be the best comes from a memory from her teachers. She knows that students never forget good teachers and bad teachers. She wants to be a good memory for her students for being a positive example to them.
At Marion's Visual Performing Arts magnet, Mrs. Whitney Hall was their choice. VPA caught Mrs. Whitney Hall by surprise by naming her their 2020 Teacher of the year. She said she’s worked with many outstanding, talented educators that being named their Teacher of the Year is something she’ll treasure. Mrs. Hall fell in love with Marion during her internship and 5 years later she’s still with Marion. She couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. Her VPA family is supportive and always willing to help in whatever way they are needed and offer words of encouragement. “I appreciate them more than they could possibly imagine.” Mrs. Hall has a background in theatre, which makes her a perfect fit for VPA. “I've learned so much about music, art, and dance by working with my Encore team. They've made me a better teacher. Whenever one of us has a project going on, it is a team effort. Everyone jumps in to help. I am grateful I never feel like I'm alone in my efforts. We are all working together toward a common goal and that's our students and what is best for them. I can't say enough great things about my colleagues at VPA.” Her motivation to be the best is simple. “It’s what my students deserve.” She said she because she loves what she does so much, it doesn’t feel like work. Mrs. Hall believes the arts are so important to children because it teaches them so much about life and collaboration and how to set goals and reach them. She loves seeing them have the freedom to be themselves and find their creative outlets. She, like her colleagues, knows when they leave VPA, their experiences here are setting them up for success in the future. That is the biggest motivation of all. She cannot wait to see what amazing things her students accomplish in the future.
Marion Junior High chose it’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, Ms. Krisma Smith. She’s been with the district for 4 years. She said she was honored to be selected by her colleagues. She has always appreciated the supports she receives from those she works with in participating in some of her crazy ideas. “I’m happy to be a part of MJHS.” When asked what has been her motivation for being an educator she jokingly said “The money of course.” but then said “Honestly, my students are my motivation.” She said growing up in a poor area where education isn’t a priority and she now teaches in a similar area, has given her the motivation to help struggling students by providing them a safe and loving place where they can learn and grow in confidence. Ms. Smith also many hours outside of class as the sponsor for the MJHS Debate Club and Co-Sponsor for the MHS & MJHS Robotics teams.
Mrs. Jeanette Skipper, a veteren of 35 years and 14 of those years with the Marion School District was selected by her fellow educators as their 2020 Teacher of the Year. She was overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness toward her colleagues at MHS. She said, “As a 2020 retiree, this honor is such a fantastic way to end my teaching career.” Mrs. Skipper has enjoyed her work with the fun loving educators at the high school. She absolutely loves teaching students. When she was in school she was lucky to have some pretty great teachers. She noticed they were aware of her needs in their class. That became her motivation to be a great teacher for her students. Her goal has been to be the teacher each student needed to become a great math student. She wanted her students to leave her class knowing they were loved and capable of doing anything they wanted to do.