EDITORIAL: Lee’s outstanding educators receive well-deserved recognition

May. 09, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Congratulations are in order for Patrice McNeill, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at SanLee Middle School, who was named Lee County’s Teacher of the Year in an impressive ceremony on Tuesday.

McNeill, a 20-year veteran of Lee County Schools, is SanLee’s Language Arts Department chairperson and serves on the school’s leadership team. She also has worked at Tramway and East Lee schools.

Her introduction read in part: “Patrice is characterized as thoughtful, humble and special by adults and children who know her. She listens intently, remembers everything and quietly acknowledges and helps wherever she can. She is the educator that puts a thank you note in your box for getting her supplies from the supply closet, slips a birthday card with your favorite sweet on your desk and mentions to staff and students how much she missed you while you were out. ... She is that teacher we all wish for our own children.”

For an educator, that is one of the highest compliments one can receive.

Those recognized as Teachers of the Year from their respective schools were Debra Collins of Bragg Street Academy, Stephanie Needham of B.T. Bullock Elementary, Amy Perozo of Broadway Elementary, Cheryl Ashley of Deep River Elementary, Matt Brown of East Lee Middle, Dana Hendrick of Floyd L. Knight, Judy McDonald of Greenwood Elementary, Lisa Foushee of J. Glenn Edwards Elementary, Kim Himes of J.R. Ingram Jr. Elementary, Lynn Knight of Lee County High, Tonya Comeaux of Lee Early College, Pam Davis of Southern Lee High, April Bussy of Tramway Elementary, Tiffany Harris of Warren Williams and Susan Davis of West Lee Middle.

These teachers were chosen for a reason, in that they excel in working with our children. We can be proud of all of these educators and their hard work and dedication.

A special thanks is due to the various sponsors of the Teacher of the Year program, including Wilkinson Chevrolet-Cadillac-Buick-GMC, Wells Fargo and the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce. Wilkinson actually allows the selected Teacher of the Year to drive one of their vehicles for the year.

It’s encouraging to know that our schools and our teachers have such outstanding corporate support.