Four New Albany Teachers of the Year illustrate dedication to education

With a combined 100 years of teaching experience and over 200 teachers in the New Albany School district, four teachers were recently honored for Teacher of the Year and one teacher also received the award for District Teacher of the Year.  The teachers that received this honor were: New Albany High School (NAHS) teacher Alicia Robinson, School of Career and Technical Education teacher and District Teacher of the Year Allison Moore, New Albany Elementary School (NAES) teacher Joan Nanney, and New Albany Middle School (NAMS) teacher Ranita Callicutt.

Nanney teaches third grade students, Callicutt teaches sixth grade social studies, Robinson teaches speech, debate, english and history, and Moore teaches business and computer science. All of the teachers said, “We are very proud of Allison. ” Callicutt has been teaching for 32 years, Nanney for 34 years, Robinson for 23 years and Moore for 11 years.

At NAHS, NAMS and NAES, all of the students wrote down a teacher’s name for nomination and the vote was done with a secret ballot. At the School of Career and Technical Education, the teachers talked openly and decided to nominate Allison Moore.

“I do love what I do. We are like a family at the School of Career and Technical Education. I am incredibly honored and humbled just to be nominated by fellow faculty members,” said Moore.

Robinson said, “The biggest reward was when one of my former students comes back and tells me how much I have helped them.”

Callicutt said, “It feels good to know that you have contributed with a tiny part of a person’s education and it makes you feel so good to know that you have helped in their life.”

Nanney said, “I am honored. We have a lot of wonderful teachers at our school. I love to teach. There are far more rewards than problems in teaching.”

Since these teachers began teaching, technology has changed tremendously. No one had computers or e-mail addresses when they began teaching and now they all have them. Nanney said, “At the elementary school, students are expected to know so much more than in the past.”

When the teachers found out that they had been nominated, they all had to submit an application to receive the nomination for District Teacher of the Year. Moore said, “The application process was interesting because you had to think about the philosophy of education, current education trends and issues, why you wanted to become a teacher, etc.”

Moore’s family had many teachers, but her grandmother and mother were her biggest influences.  Her grandmother Cleo Ivey was hired during the Depression at age 17 to teach and taught in New Albany for 42 years. Her grandmother said, “Always look your best and never let your kids know you are having a bad day.” Moore said, “I have followed her advice. I am so happy that I have a wonderful family, great husband and children and I have the best mother in the entire world.”

The teachers all agreed that the New Albany School District has the best teachers, the best administration and it is the best place to work.  All of the teachers agreed that they have learned so much from all of the principals and our co-workers.”

Robinson said, “I work with great people that truly care about the students. It is really important to have a covenant relationship with your students. You cannot help students if you haven’t gained their trust. We have the opportunity to become more that just the person standing in front of the class. We can give them advice and become a mother figure or a friend to some.”

Moore said, “I think that if you are called to be a teacher, you just know it.”