Appreciation for education
English department teacher Marlana Street was recently nominated for Clarke County School District’s Teacher of the Year.
In recognition of her unique teaching skills, Clarke Central High School English department teacher Marlana Street was nominated for the Clarke County School District level of the Teacher of the Year award.
“(Street) goes above and beyond. She cares about her job and she cares about us as individuals. She doesn’t just care about (student progress), she cares that the students actually understand,” junior Haven Bell, a student in Street’s Multicultural Literature class, said.
Clarke Central High School English department teacher Marlana Street was awarded on Oct. 7 as a finalist in the district level of Teacher of the Year. For the first time in over a decade, a CCHS teacher has become a finalist for this level. "I'm very proud of Mrs. Street. It's a great representation not only (of) the school but our English departments well, "Hooker said.
Street was awarded the CCHS school-level of the TOTY award during the 2010-11 school year. She then completed the application process to become a finalist for the Clarke County School District TOTY title, which includes multiple essays on the topics of teaching.
“The three teachers with the (best score) on the ranking sheet are the three district finalists. Once the finalists are selected, the selection committee goes to their school to observe and interview those teachers,” CCSD Director of Safety and Risk Management and Recruitment and Retention for the School District and TOTY judge Eric Keese said.
When deciding who is awarded with TOTY, judges such as Keese look at strong teaching characteristics in nominees. In order to be nominated, Street does more than completing the required standards.
“The committee looks at interactions within the classroom, answers to interview questions, ability to represent CCSD in the state and (the) overall effect (the teacher has) on being a positive influence in the lives of children,” Keese said.
In order for teachers to be nominated for the award, they must fulfill requirements. Teachers must have taught within the school district for at least two years, but also have taught for at least four years in all.
“The candidate for school-level Teacher of the Year should be: an exceptional, dedicated and knowledgeable; skilled teacher who is planning to continue in active teaching status; a teacher who inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn,” according to the CCSD TOTY: School-Level Process document, found on the CCSD website.
Out of the three nominations, one teacher is nominated from an elementary school, middle school and high school. Teachers nominated this year were Barrow Elementary School teacher Jan Mullins, Clarke Middle School math department teacher Janet Wilkins and Street.
Street’s 11 years of experience aid her in making personal connections with her students in order to reach them in an effective way.
“I think I’m open with my students. I try to be engaging and I try to show them I care,” Street said.
Street encourages her students in the classroom while also making connections with parents.
At the Clarke County School District Teacher of the Year award luncheon on Oct. 1, finalists Barrow Elementary School teacher Jan Mullins, Clarke Middle School teacher Janet Wilkins and Clarke Central High School English department teacher Marlana Street were awarded for the district level of TOTY.
“I’ve had parents (talk) to me (about) her caring spirit (and) her willingness to go the extra mile. She’s willing to work with (students) and she’s not scared to call parents when she’s concerned about her students,” CCHS Principal Dr. Robbie Hooker said.
Mullins, Wilkins and Street were honored at an Oct. 7 luncheon sponsored by the CCSD as finalists for the district-level TOTY award. After each candidate was recognized for their service to the school district and its students, Wilkins was named the 2011 TOTY.
“I wanted to bring (the TOTY award) home for the people who the public doesn’t know and doesn’t see. I was disappointed because I did want to bring it home for them,” Street said.
Street’s selection to the finalist round was a point of pride for her mentor and senior literature teacher at Cedar Shoals High School, Beth Tatum. Tatum also observed Street teaching her multicultural literature class as member of the judging committee.
“The day we observed Marlana teach was the first time I’ve ever seen her in front of a classroom. She is caring and committed to students. The day I observed her teach, I was so proud that she teaches in our school district,” Tatum said.
Hooker was also pleased by Street’s recognition by the district.
“I’m very proud of Mrs. Street. This has been the first time in over a decade when we’ve had a finalist in (the running). It’s a great representation not only (of) the school but our English department as well,” Hooker said.
While honored by her acknowledgement, Street feels that many teachers within the CCSD are fit to be nominated for the TOTY award and that her nomination not only represents her as an individual, but the school as a whole.
“There are so many incredible teachers in this building; any number of them could have won this award. I don’t know anyone who works as hard as some of these teachers and in this district,” Street said. “If I’m representing them in any way, then that’s a huge honor.”