Institute Day launches school year for teachers

MADISON – It’s official. For Madison City Schools personnel, the 2017-2018 school year opened with Institute Day on Aug. 1.

With the annual, ceremonial kickoff, MCS employees gathered for “an all-hands meeting at Bob Jones High School. Institute Day is when all teachers, principals and other personnel gather to recognize teacher and staff members of the year,” MCS Public Relations Manager John S. Peck said.

Teachers and school staffs have been working to prepare their buildings for the return of students to the classroom on Aug. 7.

At Institute Day, the Army Junior ROTC Color Guard from James Clemens High School presented the colors. Dr. Daphne Jah, Principal of West Madison Elementary School, sang a rousing rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“It was an uplifting program all around,” Peck said. “Madison Board of Education President Ranae Bartlett told a heartwarming story about the impact her third-grade teacher in Arkansas had on her and of tracking her down decades later to say thanks at the teachers’ home in Arizona.”

Superintendent Robby Parker reminded teachers of the difference they can make in their students’ lives. “He challenged them to keep the students engaged, love them and find the best way to teach them,” Peck said. “He also repeated his goal of continuing what Madison does best while working to take the school district to the next level.”

Vice President Tim Holtcamp, Luis Ferrer and Connie Spears with Madison Board of Education also spoke to the assembled educators and staff.

Celynn Ballard of Mill Creek Elementary School was named District Elementary Teacher of the Year. Kimberly Cox of Bob Jones High School earned the title of District Secondary Teacher of the Year. The Staff Member of the Year award went to Benita Tunstill at Liberty Middle School.

Teachers and staff members earned service awards for working from five to 30 years (in five-year increments). Dahlia Cowan and Emma S. Wilbanks were recognized for 30 years of service with the Madison district.

MCS employees with 25 years of service are Lisa Carter, Dr. Maria Kilgore, Susan Maynard, Leah McRae, Teresa Tarter and Sherri White.

Employees with 20 years of service are Pam C. Berry, Traci B. Berry, Cindy Davis, Bridget Drummond, John Elmore, David Gray, Nichola Griffin, Debra Harlow, Benjamin Johnston, Bob Lipinski, Timothy Mayer, Rodney Richardson, Jennifer Rountree, Rosalyn Smith, Kimberly Stewart and Morgan Stone.

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