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NCSS announces top teachers

The Newton County School System recently announced its school-level Teachers of the Year. Pictured, from left, are (seated) Trina Nickson, Mary Jane Kessler, Gidget Smith, Kim Malcom, Scott Rains, Cris Pachura, Rachel Reis, Whitney Jackson, Felicia Leggett, and Jessica Brown; (back row) Connie Brickell, Lindsay Annis, Sally Krieger, Diana Brown, Melanie Patterson, Linda Allemani, Vicki Meeler, Julie Thompson, Yokita Byrd, Kim Aldridge, Jennifer Jones and Megan Stephens. They will compete for the county title, which will be announced later this year.

The Newton County School System recently announced its school-level Teachers of the Year. Pictured, from left, are (seated) Trina Nickson, Mary Jane Kessler, Gidget Smith, Kim Malcom, Scott Rains, Cris Pachura, Rachel Reis, Whitney Jackson, Felicia Leggett, and Jessica Brown; (back row) Connie Brickell, Lindsay Annis, Sally Krieger, Diana Brown, Melanie Patterson, Linda Allemani, Vicki Meeler, Julie Thompson, Yokita Byrd, Kim Aldridge, Jennifer Jones and Megan Stephens. They will compete for the county title, which will be announced later this year.

At A Glance: 2012-13 Teachers of the Year - Newton County School System

East Newton Elementary — Julie B. Thompson

Fairview Elementary — Jessica Brown

Flint Hill Elementary — Connie Brickell

Heard-Mixon Elementary — Kimberly Aldridge

Livingston Elementary — Cris Pachura

Live Oak Elementary — Melanie Patterson

Mansfield Elementary — Jennifer Jones

Middle Ridge Elementary — Felisha Leggett

Newton County Theme School at Ficquett — Gidget Smith

Oak Hill Elementary — Lindsay Annis

Porterdale Elementary — Rachel Reis

Rocky Plains Elementary — Mary Jane Kessler

South Salem Elementary — Kim Malcom

West Newton Elementary — Yokita Byrd

Clements Middle — Linda Allemani

Cousins Middle — Sally Krieger

Indian Creek Middle — Vicki Meeler

Liberty Middle — Megan Stephens

Veterans Memorial Middle — Whitney Jackson

Alcovy High — Scott Rains

Eastside High — Trina Nickson

Newton High — Diana Brown

COVINGTON -- The Newton County School System has announced its 22 school-level teachers who will compete for the title of Newton County Teacher of the Year and go on to compete for the state title.

Earlier this year, one teacher at each school was selected by his or her peers by being named the school's Teacher of the Year.

Over the summer, each of the nominees worked on the district essay packet, which required each teacher to answer a number of questions concerning their educational background, philosophy and style of teaching.

"We're very proud of our Teachers of the Year. Chosen by their peers, these professionals epitomize what we desire in our classrooms -- thoughtful and caring mentors and teachers of our children," said NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews. "We can never thank them enough for their dedication as they are faced at times with not only the challenges of student achievement, but also with the challenges that many students bring from home to school. These folks are amongst the very best our community has to offer."

This week, the teachers will be interviewed by a panel of volunteer judges representing Newton County Schools, the Newton County Chamber of Commerce and local businesses and civic organizations.

Once scores from the essays and interviews are tallied, the names of the top three finalists -- the teachers with the three highest combined scores -- will be announced on Thursday.

Next week, the TOTY selection committee will observe each of the three finalists in his or her classroom. The teacher with the highest combined score on the essay, interview and observation will be announced as the Newton County School System's 2013 Teacher of the Year during a special ceremony at Newton High School at 4:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25.

All 22 TOTYs will be recognized at the reception, with the two runners-up each receiving a crystal vase. The 2013 Newton County Teacher of the Year also will receive a crystal vase, a free three-month car rental from Covington Ford and a check for $1,000.

The winner also will represent NCSS in the state-level Teacher of the Year competition.