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Newton Schools announce top teachers

Special Photo The Newton County School System announced Tuesday is school-level Teachers of the Year who will compete for the county title, which will be announced next month. Pictured, from left, are (front row) Jennifer Harper, Amy Rains, Lisa Ciuffetelli, Tracy Keil, Charnese Phillips, Patrice Peek, Judy Smith, and Audrey Butler. (back row) Holli McEwen, Aaron Robinson, Donna Harris, Tiffany McWaters, Jennifer Bowman, Sue Standridge, Karen Greene, Tracy Clay, Jessica Allred, Kimberly Porterfield, Rothell Lewis, Jr., Lauran Shannon, Kathleen Dunn and Mike Johnston

Special Photo The Newton County School System announced Tuesday is school-level Teachers of the Year who will compete for the county title, which will be announced next month. Pictured, from left, are (front row) Jennifer Harper, Amy Rains, Lisa Ciuffetelli, Tracy Keil, Charnese Phillips, Patrice Peek, Judy Smith, and Audrey Butler. (back row) Holli McEwen, Aaron Robinson, Donna Harris, Tiffany McWaters, Jennifer Bowman, Sue Standridge, Karen Greene, Tracy Clay, Jessica Allred, Kimberly Porterfield, Rothell Lewis, Jr., Lauran Shannon, Kathleen Dunn and Mike Johnston

COVINGTON -- Some of the county's top teachers are competing for one of the most coveted titles -- Teacher of the Year.

The Newton County School System, in partnership with the Newton County Chamber of Commerce, announced Tuesday morning the school-level Teachers of the Year who will compete for the next title.

School teachers selected their school's teacher at the end of the school year last year to compete for the 2012 competition; teachers represent schools in existence last year, so Ficquett and Palmer-Stone are included, but Flint Hill and the Newton College & Career Academy are not, according to Sherri Davis-Viniard, director of Public Relations at NCSS. The schools did not hold a TOTY competition last school year.

"Teachers are the backbone of any society and critically important contributors to any community," said NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews. "They teach all the rest of us the things we need to know in school in preparation for life. These teachers deserve our most sincere congratulations and thank you."

Over the summer, the 22 teachers completed an essay packet, answering questions about their educational background, philosophy and style of teaching. This week, the teachers are participating in a 20-minute interview with a panel of volunteer judges representing NCSS, the Newton County Chamber of Commerce and local businesses and civic organizations.

Once the school system tallies scores from the essays and interviews, three finalists will be chosen and announced on Monday. On Sept. 26, the TOTY selection committee will observe the finalists in their classrooms.

The teacher with the highest combined score on the essay, interview and observation will be announced as the Newton County School System's 2012 Teacher of the Year during a special ceremony at Newton High School at 4:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6. The winner will receive a crystal vase, a Teacher of the Year ring from HerffJones and a check for $1,000 from event sponsors.

All 22 school TOTYs will be recognized at the ceremony and the two runners-up will receive a crystal vase.

The winner will represent Newton County in the state-level competition.

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Special Photo The Newton County School System announced Tuesday is school-level Teachers of the Year who will compete for the county title, which will be announced next month. Pictured, from left, are (front row) Jennifer Harper, Amy Rains, Lisa Ciuffetelli, Tracy Keil, Charnese Phillips, Patrice Peek, Judy Smith, and Audrey Butler. (back row) Holli McEwen, Aaron Robinson, Donna Harris, Tiffany McWaters, Jennifer Bowman, Sue Standridge, Karen Greene, Tracy Clay, Jessica Allred, Kimberly Porterfield, Rothell Lewis, Jr., Lauran Shannon, Kathleen Dunn and Mike Johnston