Rainbow employees name Nicole Orr as ‘Teacher of the Year’

MADISON – Faculty and staff at Rainbow Elementary School know that Nicole Orr is dedicated to her work and have recognized Orr as 2020 “Teacher of the Year.”

“There are many more well deserving teachers at Rainbow who deserve this more than I do,” Orr said. “I was surprised.”

She has taught all 16 years of her career as an educator in the Madison City Schools system – first at Liberty Middle School and currently at Rainbow. She has worked in both special education self-contained classrooms and in general education classrooms for fourth and sixth grades.

A graduate of Bob Jones High School, Orr earned an associate’s degree in graphic design from Calhoun Community College; bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and special education, Athens State University; and master’s degree, curriculum and instruction, Middle Tennessee State University.

At Rainbow, she previously has coached Math Club and currently assists Archery Club. Orr is a member of Ron Clark Leadership Committee.

Orr’s teaching philosophy focuses on engaging each student by using multiple strategies and techniques, all while making the content relevant and relatable.

This year, several of her students impressed Orr, “but one young lady stands out above the rest. During the school year in the classroom and via e-learning, she was determined to do her best across all subjects. She would always ask for clarification when she did not understand the material or missed a question on an assignment.”

Orr said this student “would also go above and beyond in explaining what she knew on assignments and assessments. While in the classroom, the girl would make sure different areas were neat and organized on her own. She would even make signs to provide guidance for classmates to keep it neat and organized. She was a team player in all group projects and worked hard to make sure everyone was included.”

Nicole’s husband T.J. Orr teaches and coaches baseball at James Clemens High School. Their children are three-year-old Ainslee Orr and two-month-old Fredrick Orr.

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