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FCS names district, school teachers of the year

FCS names district, school teachers of the year
Frankfort, Ky – March 9, 2018 - The Franklin County Schools and Community Trust Bank today named Tara Cracraft, a third-grade teacher at Collins Lane Elementary School, its teacher of the year for 2017-18. The district also named teachers of the year for each of its schools.
The district teacher of the year announcement came as a surprise to Cracraft, who learned of the award during what was billed to her school’s staff as a “routine” school assembly this afternoon. As the district’s teacher of the year, Cracraft received a $1,000 check from Community Trust Bank and will represent the district in the statewide teacher of the year awards program.
FCS Supt. Mark Kopp said, “I am thrilled that we’re able to identify and recognize those in our district who stand out from the crowd by virtue of their commitment to and professionalism in teaching. We value all our teachers, but it’s exciting to give a huge shout-out to each of these incredible educators. We also are so appreciative of Community Trust Bank and its partnership with our district. They help us in so many ways, and we are grateful for their commitment to public education.
Community Trust Assistant Vice President John M. Senter, who presented the checks today, said, “Community Trust Bank values public education because we know its critical to have a well-educated workforce – not only because we need good employees, but also because well-educated employees will end up working for our client-businesses, helping them grow, which of course is good for the entire community. That’s why we continue to support this recognition program.” Senter grew up in Franklin County and is a graduate of the Franklin County schools.
The FCS school teachers of the year were named earlier this month, and two of those have been designated as the teacher of the year for their respective grade levels. They are Cracraft at the elementary level and Anita Tope (Western Hills) at the high school level. The middle school teacher of the year will be named this week. Tope and the middle school teacher will receive a $500 check from Community Trust Bank. All three checks are for the teachers to use at their own discretion.
The list of school level teachers of the year is below.
Cracraft is a fifth-year teacher who entered the profession later in life after a mission trip to Honduras.
“I saw poverty there like I had never seen before and realized that for people to find jobs, and to be able to take care of their family, they needed an education…. I ultimately believe we, as teachers, impact our students’ lives in ways that far outreach the nine months we spend with them” (each year).
Teachers from all Franklin County schools were eligible for recognition as teacher of the year. Nominations were accepted from all members of the school community, including colleagues, students and parents. 
Here is the complete list, in alphabetical order by school, of the district’s school teachers of the year with an excerpt from their nominations.
FCS District Teacher of the Year: 
Collins Lane Elementary School: Tara Cracraft
Nomination Excerpt: “Tara has a natural ability to create an environment with excitement for learning, respect and rapport in her third grade classroom…. These qualities lure others into being engaged and to find learning in her room fun. One of the most thrilling things to watch her do is involve all levels of learners to feel comfortable to share their thinking; whether it be a correct or an incorrect answer, all feel validated.”
The Academy: Kasey Tarter
Nomination Excerpt: “If you have ever walked into Ms. Tarter’s room you immediately feel a sense of family among the students and classroom staff. Her classroom can best be described as non-traditional and student focused…. Her students are treated as adults in the work place. You will often see students working individually or sitting together to problem solve for a class they share. Though she treats her students as adults, she still makes sure to include the parents in understanding how their child is progressing in her classroom. It is… very common to hear cheering coming from Ms. Tarter’s room as milestones such as earning credits, passing ests, and most importantly achieving graduation status are celebrated.”
Bondurant Middle School: Robbie Thompson - Also the FCS Middle School Teacher of the Year
Nomination Excerpt: “Mr. Thompson doesn’t just impact the lives of his students. His colleagues seek him out for advice and guidance in any number of capacities. He utilizes a variety of teaching methods and strategies to reach his students…. Integrates hands-on learning activities and motion in most of his lessons. He holds his students to a high standard and expects them to meet or exceed those expectations. Mr. Thompson doesn’t just teach, tough. He mentors at-risk and disengaged students. He works hard to build relationships with these students to show them that they matter.”
    Bridgeport Elementary School: Caroline Wolfe
Nomination Excerpt: “Caroline goes above and beyond for her kids every day, even if that means altering her daily schedule to accommodate their needs, buying them Christmas gifts with her own money, or providing resources and tips to their bus drivers so that they can smoothly get to school each day. Caroline is truly in this profession for the kids….”
    Early Learning Village: Tracy Fannin
Nomination Excerpt: “Tracy is an amazing teacher. Her drive and her ability to “think outside the box,” to challenge our students every day in mastering musical concepts (that even most adults don’t know), and her creativity when it comes to tying the ELA and Math curriculum to music all make her an outstanding candidate. Tracy goes above and beyond every day for our students, and makes great connections with families….”
    Elkhorn Elementary School: Emily Granath
Nomination Excerpt: “Emily Granath’s students are always excited and ready to learn while in her classroom…. Her students come to her to celebrate achievements, talk through hard times, and just spend time with her…. Emily goes out of her way to make her students feel loved and cared about. She is the kind of teacher that her students will remember well after they leave Elkhorn…. Many students call her their favorite teacher and when you spend time in her classroom it is easy to see why.”
    Elkhorn Middle School: Kelli Coblin
Nomination Excerpt: “Mrs. Coblin teaches our life skills class, where topics can range from cooing, tying ties, to sexually transmitted diseases. One common trait mentioned by all teachers who nominated Mrs. Coblin for TOY was how often they hear student talk about her class in a positive manner. Students really enjoy the experience and learning she provides. Her energy on a day to day basis is a model for others.”
    Franklin County High School: Londa Tester
Nomination Excerpt: “Does a great job as department chair, is the de facto social chair, takes care of senior breakfast/picnic, and above all else is a solid bell to bell teacher.”
    Hearn Elementary School: Sara Pope
Nomination Excerpt: “Ms. Pope’s students are always well behaved and show great work ethic, respect and responsibility. Instead of seeing the challenges of our ever-changing educational system as a frustrating obstacle she embraces them, learns from them and adapts her curriculum as well as her instructional methods without compromising her values and her student’s needs. Ms. Pope has strong academic expectations and shows her students every day that she believes they can succeed.”
    Peaks Mill Elementary School: Angie Beavin
Nomination Excerpt: “Angie Beavin is the exemplary example of a teacher with passion… Passion for her students. Passion for the profession of teaching. Passion for parents and colleagues. Passion for the community and building a great society…. She accepts students where they are and holds them to high expectations for growth.”
    Western Hills High School: Anita Tope - Also the FCS High School Teacher of the Year
Nomination Excerpt: “I think it is my responsibility to shed light on Mrs. Tope in regards to her stellar content delivery, mastery of her content, compassion for her student learning population, creativity and professionalism…. She sets a high bar and challenges her students to reach for it. As student council sponsor Anita has helped students mold the culture of our building. She has given student leaders… a place where their voices and ideas can be relayed and acted upon.”
    Westridge Elementary School: Jane Scottow
Nomination Excerpt: “Jane always puts kids first and she leads by example. Her students thrive and they are pushed and challenged. She is a master at differentiating for her students… she is a master teacher with “old school” ways but NEVER complains when new ideas or materials are presented to her.”

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