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Of the Year Reveal

Schools in Mount Airy City Schools have announced their 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year and Classified Staff of the Year while the district has named its Principal of the Year. To notify these educators of their honor, district and school administrators made surprise visits to the recipients on Monday, March 18.

B.H. Tharrington Primary School named kindergarten teacher Nicole Hooker as Teacher of the Year and teaching assistant Ellen Welch as Classified Staff of the Year

“Ms. Hooker is an outstanding teacher who goes the extra mile to make sure students have hands-on experiences,” a fellow educator noted. “She is a supportive co-worker and teacher leader who is always willing to share her knowledge with others.”

Principal Emily Niston stated that, “Mrs. Ellen Welch is a dedicated employee who has a true servant's heart.  She not only supports the academic needs of each of her students, but she takes the time to get to know the children and builds a relationship with each one.  She does not see differences in any child, rather, she sees opportunity and positive qualities about all children. She works behind the scenes, never wanting any attention or credit.”  

J.J. Jones Intermediate School named third grade teacher Sara Key as Teacher of the Year, while teaching assistant Jessie Jessup was named Classified Staff of the Year.

Her peers affirmed, “Mrs. Key is dedicated to Jones and students. She strives to help students learn necessary social skills and helps them seek ways to be kind. She is a leader in our school and works to empower others.”

Jessie Jessup works hard to meet the specific needs of the student she serves. Her attitude is positive and her outlook is always bright. She is a team player and she invests in the lives of our students,” said Chelsy Payne, newly named Principal of Jones.

Mount Airy Middle School named 6th grade teacher Samantha Surratt and teaching assistant Laurie Chilton as Teacher of the Year and Classified Staff of the Year.

“Mrs. Surratt is one of the most devoted and hard working teachers we know. She always prepares diligently for her students and gives 100% to every child, every day,” claimed her peers.

Principal Olivia Sikes praised the work of Ms. Chilton, “She is a tremendous asset to Mount Airy Middle School. She is an advocate for her students in her class and effectively leads the FLA after school program with purpose and passion. Ms. Chilton has a heart for students and we appreciate her dedication to our school!”

Mount Airy High School named teacher Abby Gallimore and data manager Debbie Hiatt as Teacher of the Year and Classified Staff of the Year.

Mrs. Gallimore’s peers stated that, “She has all of the qualities needed for a great teacher. Her dedication to each child goes unmatched and she strives to provide opportunities to gain independence.”

Mr. Jason Dorsett, MAHS Principal commented, “Mrs. Hiatt is caring, dependable, and supportive. She is always willing to jump in and help anyone that needs assistance.  When our students arrive each day, she greets them with "good morning" and a smile.”

The district named Mrs. Olivia Sikes as Principal of the Year. When talking about her principalship, Superintendent Dr. Kim Morrison mentioned, “Mrs. Olivia Sikes has stepped into Mount Airy Middle School and created a school of tremendous academic success and raised the level of expectations for all students.  She works closely with her staff to create high performing and effective teams.  Mount Airy Middle School has had a year of success in the classroom and on the athletic field that shows our students are well rounded and performing at a high level.”