Teacher of the Year semifinalists named

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

A field of six has been chosen from which Henry County School System officials will select this year’s Teacher of the Year, who will be named Oct. 22 at the annual Harvest of Heroes at the Performing Arts Center.

Two semifinalists from each level (elementary, middle and high) have been named for consideration for the top award. They are:

* Bonita VanHook-Adams, Cotton Indian Elementary, Talented and Gifted (TAG).

* Sarah Barnett, Woodland High, AP English literature and composition.

* Lisa Hash, Eagle’s Landing Middle, English language arts.

* Steve McDonald, Woodland Elementary, fifth grade Talented and Gifted (TAG).

* Darci Parken, Henry County Middle School, English language arts.

* Dr. Mohan Sadhasivan, Stockbridge High, analytical geometry and advanced algebra.

School system officials made surprise visits to each teacher Sept. 28 to announce their semifinal status in front of students and colleagues.

When contacted by the Times about this announcement, some of these teachers’ principals did not hesitate to praise their job performance and worthiness for this accolade.

“Ms. Adams is a stellar educator; she ensures that her students are always being challenged and that taking risks is a great part of learning,” said Cotton Indian Elementary principal Lisa Travis. “She is involved with many clubs both within the school community as well as outside of the school community. She understands that every child has a ‘gift’ and that by providing them opportunities to show what they know in a variety of ways, they will excel. I feel honored and privileged to work alongside Ms. Adams; she is a superstar in my eyes.”

“Ms. Barnett is truly a joy to have on my faculty. She has an amazing rapport with her students and has a unique way of making literature come alive and become relevant for her students,” said Woodland High principal Bret Cook. “She is on the cutting edge regarding the use of technology as a tool for instruction, and willingly shares her knowledge with her colleagues.”

HERO Award winners will be revealed in the coming weeks. HERO Awards recognize staff members outside of the teaching ranks for their contributions to the school system. Categories recognized include service employees, transportation em-ployees, support personnel, school nutrition employees, student service employees, and media specialists.

For more information visit www.henry.k12.ga.us