Curtis Elementary Campus Teacher of the Year - Ashley Ferguson
Ashley Ferguson graduated from Howard Payne University with a BA in Education and English in 2001. She is currently a first grade teacher at Curtis Elementary. Ashley says, “Three years after college I became a teacher, or that is to say, I began teaching. Six weeks into my first year in the classroom, I was overwhelmed. My kids had my number and they had a ringleader who was incredibly disrespectful, wouldn’t complete a single assignment, and could turn my class against me before I had taken roll in the morning. He and I went on that way until the day his behavior made sense to me. He didn’t complete assignments because he had been told he was too stupid. I caught him at the end of that day and I gushed all the things that my heart needed him to know…never to let anyone make him feel incapable; that he was could accomplish anything. He nodded and walked away, but he had tears in his eyes, and I knew he had heard me. When I began teaching I learned to write lesson plans, arrange centers, and master the acronyms of education, but I became a teacher when I learned how to reach every student in my classroom.
Hall Middle School's Optimist Club Boy, Girl of the Month for May
Hall Middle School students Denise Mesquite (left) and Aaron Decker were named as the Optimist Club's Boy and Girl of the Month for May yesterday at the Weatherford College Doss Center's Allene Strain Room (courtesy photo).
Crockett Elementary Campus Teacher of the Year - Valerie Wheeler
Valerie earned her degree from the University of North Texas and for the past 4 years has been the Music Teacher at Crockett. Music was always a part of my life, ever since I was really small. I would sing all the time, make up songs for school projects, and jingles for answering machine messages. I just always figured I would become a singer. My family would suggest the possibility of teaching music, but I didn’t really consider that until college when I met my elementary music professor. Dr. Henry’s class involved observing and teaching a group of 2nd graders under his kind and watchful eyes. He taught us that children, even as young as 2nd grade, are capable of doing amazing things. He showed us that there was so much creativity in teaching. The kids didn’t just sit in a circle, they were singing, moving, creating, and playing. Then it suddenly hit me one day watching those 2nd graders in Dr. Henry’s class. There is no sound more beautiful than the sound of children singing. Children really can amaze you. They are so precious, and they have so much potential. Teaching music is what I always really wanted even when I didn’t know it.