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Teachers, staff celebrate end of year

By By Tracy L. Brady
Record reporter
No more classes, no more books, no more student's dirty looks-wait, shouldn't that be teacher's dirty looks?
Not according to the teachers and staff who attended the "Celebrating Our Liberty" end of year bash for the Madison City Schools system.
Beach balls, flashlights, balloons, cheers, music and sparklers filled the Zompa auditorium at Bob Jones High School as the school system recognized outstanding teachers, staff members, and retirees for the 2001-02 school year.
Master of ceremonies, Dr. Dee Fowler, got the all out "hoot 'n holler" started by welcoming guests and announcing the roll call for each school to celebratory tunes like "School's Out for Summer." After the Pledge of Allegiance, Fowler, Board of Education President Don Spencer and Superintendent Dr. Henry Clark pelted the audience with T-shirts-sort of.
"Maybe we should have practiced this beforehand," Spencer said as the trio tried to maneuver the giant T-shirt slingshot.
After the fun and games, each school's principal recognized it's Teacher of the Year and Staff Member of the Year and presented each with a $500 check and a bouquet of balloons.
Named Teacher of the Year were as follows: Cathy Nash, Heritage Elementary; Virginia Henshaw, Horizon Elementary; Stacy Blair, Madison Elementary; Angela Bennett, Rainbow Elementary; Melissa Coman, West Madison Elementary; Melanie Pickens, Bob Jones High; Sandra Kelley, Discovery Middle; and Madelene Marcus, Liberty Middle.
The Staff Members of the Year were as follows: Shirley James, Heritage Elementary; Dena Heflin, Horizon Elementary; Cherry Shickel, Madison Elementary; Jolie Ferguson, Rainbow Elementary; Willma Allison, West Madison Elementary; Connie Thompson, Bob Jones High; Mollie Hartley, Discovery Middle; Dennis Klein, Liberty Middle School; and LaTisha King, Central Office.
This year's retirees were also recognized and honored with certificates, balloons and hearty thanks from Spencer and the Board of Education. Marjorie Bermudez of Liberty Middle, Paige Kemp of Bob Jones High, Rebecca Smith of Madison Elementary, and Marilyn Volonino of Rainbow Elementary were each honored.
Entertainment followed the awards with original lyrics written for traditional songs and sang by the Madison City Schools Singers that conveyed the audience's excitement about the end of school.
"Where's the sunscreen? Where's the cooler? The end is almost here," teachers sang in unison as the giant words scrolled down an overhead projector.
"I wonder how other school systems celebrate the end of the school year?" Spencer said. "Well, I hope they're having as much fun."
Clark concluded the festivities by announcing Liberty Middle School's recognition as a Blue Ribbon School and the addition of 15 to 20 teachers and support staff next school year.
"We're at the closing of another successful school year," Clark said. "Thanks for a great year and have a wonderful summer."

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