Teacher of the year finalists named
Winner to be announced at Nov. 6 reception
Though the weather was gloomy Friday morning, three Newton County teachers received some news that made their days decidedly brighter. They were surprised in their classrooms with the announcement that they were the top three finalists for Newton County’s 2009 Teacher of the Year.
Alicia Stewart was the first teacher to be notified at Mansfield Elementary School where Principal G.W. Davis made an excuse to keep the Quest teacher there instead of allowing her to go to Palmer-Stone where she was supposed to be when a convoy of school system officials, as well as her family, converged on her classroom.
“This is so surreal,” Stewart said. “It can’t be me - I’m just shaking all over. I don’t think it has sunk in yet,” she continued. “When everyone leaves it will.”
In an essay prepared for the TOTY competition Stewart said her mother was a huge influence in her life and in her decision to become a teacher.
“Life isn’t about how much money you make,” she wrote. “It is about making a difference in the world and empowering others... Sometimes the greatest teachers aren’t found in schools... my most impressionable teacher was at home.”
She began her teaching career in 1986 after earning her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education. She went on to get a Master of Science and she is gifted endorsed.
According to Davis, Stewart is extremely deserving of the honor. “Lisa Stewart is the kind of teacher every principal wants as an employ-