Making the grade – Nominations for 2005 Nevada County Teacher of the Year announced |

Making the grade – Nominations for 2005 Nevada County Teacher of the Year announced

Once again, teachers from Nevada County’s school districts have been nominated for the 2005 Nevada County Teacher of the Year program.

This year, teachers from eight school districts have been nominated for the award, which is given by the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools office.

Each teacher is required to submit letters of nomination and a statement of their teaching philosophy and a particular aspect of the education in their classroom.

The award has been given in Nevada County for more than 20 years, said Terry McAteer, county superintendent of schools.

“A lot of (teachers) don’t like the recognition because they feel like they’re part of a team,” he said.

Each of the teachers nominated shares a singular passion, he added.

“They didn’t go into it for the money or long vacations,” he said. “They did it because of their love for educating young people.”

The winners of the county contest then proceed to the state competition, where a winner will be announced later this autumn.

The winner of the state competition will proceed to the national competition in Washington, D.C., where the winner will spend a year out of the classroom as a teaching ambassador, with the costs of the release time covered by the district that nominated the teacher.

Last year’s Nevada County winner was Sharon Wentworth, a second-grade teacher at Gold Run Elementary School.

This year’s nominees, selected by a group of retired educators and administrators, includes nominees from eight districts.

The Union begins a series of profiles of each of the candidates today with a profile of Tamra Smith, a first-grade teacher at Clear Creek School. Other profiles will follow weekly on the Learning page.

In excerpts from her nomination paper, Smith writes:

“Although my years of teaching are few, I come from a family of teachers who have instilled in me the commitment, dedication and love for a career with insurmountable rewards.

“Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to study and learn various teaching styles and techniques.

“These observations have helped guide me and I credit many of my past teachers who have given me strength and encouragement over the years.

“They have taught me patience, understanding and values. It is their positive influence that I carry and pass on into the classroom.

“Every student in my class knows they are respected and understands that they are a significant part of our school. I believe that the students feel comfortable, confident, welcomed and loved. They have the joy of experiencing fun while gaining knowledge. This helps them share an enthusiasm for participation and learning. Although there may be a variety of learning abilities or socioeconomic levels, all children are treated equal.

” … Teaching is a profession where the rewards are not always seen by the casual observer, but can be seen through the smile of a child who knows someone cares. I am honored to be among those who have chosen this profession as a life-long gratifying experience.”


– Tammy Smith, Clear Creek School District

– Carol Ransom, Hennessy School, Grass Valley School District

– Michele Joiner, Deer Creek, Nevada City School District

– Gale Peach, Pleasant Ridge Elementary, Pleasant Ridge School District

– Nancy Crews, Williams Ranch, Pleasant Valley School District

– Betsy Abrams, Twin Ridges Home Study/charter, Twin Ridges Elementary School District

– Chuck Ross, Union Hill Elementary School, Union Hill School District

– Carolyn (Lynn) McDaniel, Nevada Union High School, Nevada Joint Union High School District

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