6 local teachers earn honors

By Messenger Staff | Published Wednesday, February 7, 2018
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Best of the Best

BEST OF THE BEST – Weatherford College recently named six teachers from Wise County schools Jack Harvey exemplary teachers, including (front) Mandy Bourgeois, Kayla McComis, (back row) Georgia Headley, Debby Hartsell, Carrie Walker and (not pictured) Brandy Mayfield. Submitted photo

Six teachers from area schools were among the 31 teachers from across the region honored by Weatherford College at the 2018 Jack Harvey Academy of Exemplary Teachers celebration Jan. 26 at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center.

In its 22nd year, the Harvey Academy honors exemplary teachers in the memory of Professor Emeritus Jack Harvey, who taught at WC for 23 years and was considered among his peers as a “master teacher.”

The honorees, along with an excerpt from their nomination letters, are:

Alvord Middle School
5th grade science

“Carrie Walker is exemplary because she touches her students’ lives in more ways than just as an educator. Mrs. Walker exudes kindness and compassion even in the toughest times. Students and parents know they can talk to Mrs. Walker and that she cares. Carrie goes to the ‘Nth’ degree to make sure her students understand the scientific concepts she’s teaching and enjoy the various experiments she has planned for them.”

Boyd Middle School
English/Language Arts

“Building self-esteem and motivation is Mandy Bourgeois’ key to helping each student believe they are capable of learning. She sets high expectations for students, and she inspires and motivates students to reach upward to attain their expectations. She establishes a climate of mutual respect that empowers students to take necessary risks to grow academically and to be willing to make a few mistakes in order to do so.

“Mrs. Bourgeois encourages and believes in her students. She is caring but requires excellence in every detail. She teaches mastery level and beyond by encouraging students to use their imaginative and creative abilities. Mrs. Bourgeois is dedicated to obtaining professional growth opportunities designed to build the knowledge and skills needed to motivate, inspire and challenge students to achieve excellence in learning and living.”

Bridgeport Middle School
6th grade English/Language Arts

“Kayla McComis is a truly special educator who goes to incredible lengths to serve the needs of her students and campus. She always pushes her students to be the very best, and they meet her expectations because they know how much she cares about them. Her steadfast commitment to her craft serves as a model for her colleagues and has shaped the culture of Bridgeport Middle School. Mrs. McComis is 100 percent about doing what is best for kids 100 percent of the time. Kayla McComis is a blessing to our school.”

Chico Middle School
Special Education

“Ms. Hartsell’s principal had the following comment regarding her selection: ‘During my 23 years in education, I have seldom had the privilege to work with someone who truly enjoys teaching, because every day they go into the classroom, they love helping the students.'”

“Mrs. Hartsell has been doing that for 42 years. Debby has not only been in the same district, but on the same campus, for her entire career. She has taught generations of the families in Chico, and she has had a great impact on the school district and the community. She is not only a great example to future teachers, but she is also an important part of the winning team at Chico Middle School. This is the second time her district has singled her out for this honor.”

Decatur High School
Special Education

“Impacting our campus inside and outside the classroom, Brandy Mayfield works with our students who have severe and profound disabilities in an inclusive way. Coach Mayfield makes a positive impact on each of their lives. She is our special education department chair and leads teachers both in her department and outside it.

“Brandy is one of the best special education teachers that her superintendent has seen in 18 years of campus administration at helping other teachers work with her students successfully.

“She also coaches volleyball and basketball, and many of our athletes work as student assistants in her program. Some of these students are considering entering our profession because of their experience working with Coach Mayfield.”

Paradise High School
English IV and College English

“Georgia Headley has a wonderful rapport with students and co-workers. Her ability to connect with students and her talent for teaching simple concepts, as well as more advanced topics, are both truly superior. Ms. Headly is a very dynamic teacher. She is the department chair for the high school campus and assists the district leadership when discussing ELA for all grade levels.

“Ms. Headley can work independently and is able to follow through to ensure that the job gets done. She accomplishes these tasks with great initiative and a positive attitude. Ms. Headley coordinates senior activities as well as being the graduation coordinator. She is definitely the ideal and model teacher.”

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