LIVE OAK —Suwannee County School District employees, family and friends gathered Tuesday at the Phillips Center at Advent Christian Village in celebration of the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year and School-Related Employee of the Year.
Lynsee Dicks, a teacher at Branford Elementary School, was named the District Teacher of the Year.
Former student Abigail Green introduced Dicks at the banquet.
“I am very proud to represent her tonight,” Green said. “With passion, dedication and determination, (teachers) will push you to the edge and then convince you to jump in.
“Her passion for learning motivates those around her.”
Green said her dream to be an architect seemed like an unreachable goal due to her struggles in mathematics.
“Mrs. Dicks was determined and showed me how to persevere even when the challenge seemed overwhelming,” Green said.
“Im just overwhelmed to be honest with you,” Dicks said. “What a humbling position to be in to get to hear all of these first-hand accounts from students, how inspired they were. I think that God probably makes teachers special in Heaven. I think he probably has to craft them with hands to serve in an array of capacity and to be ready at any moment for anything.”
The Teacher of the Year for each school site are Liz Vann, Melissa McKire, Ruth Thomas, Stephanie Sampson, Paula McMillan, Danelle Bradow and Tracy Henderson.
The District School-Related Employee of the Year was announced as Stephanie Williams from the Suwannee Primary School.
She had been in the school system since 2008. During her time with the school, she has worked in a fourth- and fifth-grade self-contained ESE classroom, a VPK classroom, a preK self-contained class, a preK to fifth grade self-contained medically needy class and a preK self-contained ESE/autism class.
“It is an honor to be awarded for something that I love doing,” Williams said. “Every day isn’t easy but rewarding none the less. I would first like to thank God for making me who I am and putting me in such a position as this. I would like to thank the administrators for supporting me though the years at SPS. To my family for their constant support. Thank you to the parents who have allowed me to be a part of their children’s lives for the past 10 years.”
The School-Related Employee of the Year for each department and school site are Kay Glass, Lori Smith, Lee Willis, Heather Crotty, Anthony Jackson, Wendy Jones, Laura Hernandez, Robinette Odom, George Langford, Whit Fissell and Sarah Chavis.
Suwannee High School Principal Malcolm Hines and Assistant Principal Tammy Boggus were announced as the Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year.
“I am humbled by the recognition,” Hines said. “It is my greatest desire to serve, not be served.”
“I am honored to be recognized as Assistant Principal of the Year,” Boggus said. “It is my privilege to serve Suwannee High School and the Suwannee County School District.”