Student safety is always priority #1 for Kingsport City Schools, and this is especially true on KCS school buses. In the latest edition of the WeAreKCS Video Blog, Supervisor of Transportation Tommy Starnes shares how seat belts play such an important role in this effort.
It’s finally here! Today, Kingsport City Schools reaches the culminating event of the academic year as students and staff celebrate the seniors graduating from Dobyns-Bennett High School. Through much hard work and dedication, these graduates have reached the pinnacle of their K-12 education and now prepare to embark into their future!
Graduation day is a special time, as the entire KCS community comes together to mark this significant achievement. One special aspect of D-B graduation is the annual participation of teachers and administrators from other KCS schools who take part in the ceremony. By including staff from pre-k, elementary, middle schools, Cora Cox Academy, D-B EXCEL, and D-B, we signify that we are all vested in the education of KCS students and take district-wide ownership of supporting student success. Though they may be graduating today from D-B, ALL KCS staff members have been instrumental in helping students reach their graduation day.
It’s quite a phenomenal group of young women and men! This week, we celebrate this year’s graduates by sharing some of the fantastic accomplishments of the Class of 2018. There are WAY more than six items to highlight. Thanks to D-B Principal Dr. Chris Hampton for sharing this great info. (click here to view the full photo album of graduation day photos)
The Dobyns-Bennett Class of 2018 contains:
- 5 National Merit Semi-finalists.
- 5 National Merit Commended Students.
- 3 Presidential Scholar Candidates (the most in school history).
- 90 students with a GPA exceeding 4.0 (the most in school history).
- 75 AP Scholars (the most in school history).
- 3 appointments to United States Service Academies.
- 120 Graduates with distinction (the most in the school history).
- Of the 131 D-B students ACT scores of 30+ this year, 75 are in the senior class and
two of those recorded a perfect score (This is the seventh year in a row D-B has had at least one perfect ACT score).
- This is the 12th consecutive year the DB Air Force Junior ROTC program has been named a unit of distinction.
- More than a dozen Career and Technical state-level winners and national qualifiers.
- 40 students earning approximately 60 National Industry Certifications.
- Over 60 conference, district, and regional athletic titles.
- Several state tournament participants.
- This graduating band class has performed on some of the biggest stages in
our state and country, while solidifying their place on an elite stage for
marching bands by finishing 6th in the U.S. at the esteemed Grand Nationals competition.
- The band and orchestra also performed a joint concert at Carnegie Hall,
one of the most famed concert halls in the world.
- This has been the most decorated year in history for the D-B Choral program, including being one of 12 choral programs in the world to be chosen to perform at the inaugural National Choral Festival.
- D-B has been named in the top 5% of all high schools in the country by US News and World Report and one of the most rigorous high schools in the nation by the Washington Post.
- The class of 2018 has been offered in excess 15 million dollars in scholarship money (and still counting). This is the most scholarship money every awarded to a graduating class at D-B.
Congrats to the Dobyns-Bennett Class of 2018!!
And so with that, another year of the Saturday Six comes to a close. Thank you for sharing this year’s journey with Kingsport City Schools and learning more about our incredible students and educators each Saturday. Keep on the lookout for additional KCS information at wearekcs.com, including more great video blogs to come!
Unbelievable… The 2017-18 KCS school year is down to its final days! The last day for students is this Thursday, May 24, with D-B graduation taking place next Saturday, May 26. How did it all come to an end so quickly??
But following any great school year is a fantastic summer! This week in the Saturday Six, let’s take a look at some of the activities and events on the horizon once school breaks for the year.
- First things first… Not sure where to find all the options that are available for students this summer? We’ve made it easy for you! Just click here for the one-stop shop of summer offerings from our KCS Summer Events webpage.
- KCS STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math) camps will take place during the month of June. High School students (rising 9th-12th graders) will meet June 4-8 at the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Elementary (rising 2nd – 5th graders) and middle school (rising 6th – 8th graders) students will each have two weeks of camp, June 11-15 and June 18-22. Middle School camps will be held at Robinson Middle School from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., while elementary camps will be held at Sevier Middle School from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
- There are also a wide variety of sports camps being offered this summer. Boys baseball, boys basketball, girls basketball, football, soccer (boys and girls), girls softball, girls volleyball, and track and speed (girls and boys) are among the offerings. Again, please check the Summer Camp webpage for the full slate of offerings and registration information.
- KCS is pleased to offer Summer preview camps for Honors and AP classes. These are designated for first-time Honors and AP students or those who want to improve their potential for success. Offerings this summer include “How to Be a Successful AP Student,” “AP Human Geography Summer Pre-View,” and “Honors Algebra II Prep & Success.”
- Want your rising 6th grader to get off to a great start at their new school? Make sure to attend one of the JumpStart programs. These three-day summer classes will provide rising 6th graders an opportunity to tour their school, learn how to open combination locks, meet new friends and some teachers, become aware of middle school procedures, play team building games, and more! There are four separate offerings of JumpStart scheduled for late May and early June.
- Summer preparation is an integral part of why the KCS music programs are so strong and competitive year after year. Band Camps for middle schools meet various weeks throughout the summer, while the D-B band camps begin in late June for freshmen and in July for all others.
Again, click here to view information and registration processes for all KCS summer offerings.
BONUS ITEM – KCS, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of School Nutrition Services, is pleased to announce the Summer Meals for Kids Program. Any child 18 years old or younger is eligible to receive breakfast and/or lunch FREE each weekday from May 29th – July 20th, except for July 4th. Sevier Middle School is a walk-in site serving breakfast and lunch. There are also some residential delivery sites at which lunch only will be provided. Click here for more details about the free summer feeding program.
Next week in the Saturday Six: The school year comes to a close next Saturday with graduation at Dobyns-Bennett. The Saturday Six will provide a photo review of the festivities, along with some interesting stats about this year’s graduating class. PLEASE NOTE: Publishing of the Saturday Six will be slightly delayed next week to compile all the great graduation photos.
Spring has arrived and just like the flowers bursting into full bloom all across Kingsport, the students and educators of Kingsport City Schools are accomplishing great things as the temperature heats up and the end of the school year approaches. This school year has seen incredible achievements taking place across the district by so many talented individuals.
This week, the Saturday Six shines a spotlight on some highlights of our Spring semester.
- The Dobyns-Bennett FIRST Robotics CyberTribe and D-B EXCEL M.A.T.E. (Marine Advanced Technology Education) robotics teams achieved great success in competitions this Spring. In fact, the DBE “R’Mateys” M.A.T.E. team captured 1st place at the recent underwater competition here in Kingsport, qualifying them for the international championships. With such a talented group of CyberTribe members and with two-thirds of the M.A.T.E. team members being either freshmen or sophomores, we can expect great things from KCS robotics in the years ahead.
- Challenging academics have long been a hallmark of Kingsport City Schools and this year’s students are rising to achieve at unprecedented levels. These include D-B seniors Kendall Miller and Karli Ailshie, who were awarded the 2018 Ned McWherter Scholarship, and John Sevier Middle School 7th grader Ella Miller, who won first place for Best News Story at the Tennessee High School Press Association’s Awards Day. D-B 11th grader and SCOPE Conference attendee Kevin Woo was elected 1st Vice President for the SCOPE slate of officers. And Lego League teams from Jackson Elementary School and Robinson Middle School each captured 3rd place in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Tennessee Championship Tournament. Oh, and the D-B student council also achieved Four Star Council status. Knowing this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface makes this Spring’s accomplishments all the greater!
- KCS Spring athletes are also excelling. The Baseball and Softball teams had great campaigns. The Lady Indians tennis team has seen great success on the courts, sweeping through league play and capturing the District I-AAA Tennis championship. Three players, Lainey Hill, Willa Rogers, and Emily Cai all went undefeated during the regular season, while the tandem of Hill and Rogers were undefeated in doubles’ play. Miss Hill and Miss Rogers are continuing to shine in TSSAA tournament play and are poised for great success.
- The boys soccer team is also making headlines. The Tribe won the Big 7 Conference Championship and District 1 title and are currently undefeated on the season with a record of 16-0-2. The Indians soccer team is ranked #2 in the State and #16 in the nation. Now in the middle of tournament play, their next action will take place at home next Tuesday at Indian Highland Park as they host the Regional I-AAA semi-finals.
- The D-B track and field team also won the 2018 Conference Championship and placed 2nd (girls) and 3rd (boys) at the 2018 Beach Run Invitational. During the season, the team and individual members captured more than 30 first place finishes in more than 20 separate events in league and tournament participation.
- KCS employees are also achieving great things. For example… D-B math teacher Mrs. Theresa Fuller fulfilled the rigorous requirements to be designated a National Board Certified Teacher. Retiring D-B Coach Graham Clark was named a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Power of Influence Award by the American Football Coaches Association and the American Football Coaches Foundation. John Adams Elementary teacher Dr. Cindy Bellamy was named the Outstanding Elementary Teacher of the Year by the Tennessee Council for the Social Studies and was named to participate as a member of the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Civic Education and Engagement Advisory Committee. Kingsport is truly blessed to have such great educators!
Next week in the Saturday Six: With just a few days left in the school year, we’ll take a look at the opportunities and events that will be taking place in KCS this coming summer. It’s the Summer 2018 Preview Edition!
Can you believe that the Kingsport City Schools year is already coming to an end? As of today, there are only 14 school days left before we close the books on 2017-2018. But don’t think that just because the school year is winding down, there’s a lack of activity throughout KCS. The schedule is jam-packed between now and Graduation Saturday on May 26th.
This week in the Saturday Six, let’s take a look at six key calendar items that are worth your attention between now and the end of the school year.
- The week of May 7-11, 2018 is Employee Appreciation Week in Kingsport City Schools. Careers in the field of education are so rewarding, but can also be exhausting! KCS sets aside this week in the spring to send a little extra love to our faculty and staff who face each day with determination to open up the world to our students!
- Looking for an opportunity to get a first-hand look at some of the great things that have been happening in our schools during the year? Check out the KCS Upcoming Events Calendar. Concerts, teas, awards days, art shows, and more dot the calendar, making May an action packed month of student celebration.
- The last day of school is May 24th, which is an early dismissal day for students. Middle and high schools will dismiss that day at 11:40 a.m., while elementary schools will dismiss at 12:15 p.m. Buses will run normal routes.
- The grand celebration of each school year takes place at the Dobyns-Bennett’s graduation ceremony. Please join students, families, faculty and staff at D-B’s J. Fred Johnson Stadium at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 26 as this exciting event takes place. Seating is available in the stadium on a first come, first served basis. We invite you to come be a part of the biggest celebration of the KCS year!
- With the end of May comes Memorial Day. On Monday, May 28, all schools and the Administrative Support Center will be closed as KCS joins the nation in celebrating this national holiday. Please take time out to reflect on the sacrifice made by members of the armed forces killed in the line of duty as they have fought to defend the freedoms we hold so dear in the United States of America.
- Tuesday, May 29 winds down the school year for school staff. It’s the final in-service day of the 2017-2018 as teachers wrap up all loose ends and begin to plan for 2018-19!
Next week in the Saturday Six: As the year begins to wind down, the Saturday Six will take a look back at many student highlights and achievements from the Spring semester.
If you noticed a buzz around the Kingsport community this week, it very well may have been due to the naming of the new Dobyns-Bennett head football coach, long-time D-B assistant coach, Joey Christian. Coach Christian was selected from a field of talented candidates to assume the reins as head coach of the Tribe.
This week in the Saturday Six, let’s learn more about Coach Christian, the new head of the Tribe… a dedicated family man, educator, and coach.
- Coach Christian is married to his wife Stacy, a first grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School. They have two children… Chloe is a senior at D-B who will attend the University of Tennessee – Knoxville in the fall, and Carson, is a 7th grader at Robinson Middle School.
- Coach grew up in Surgoinsville, attending Surgoinsville Elementary and Middle Schools, then playing football at Volunteer High School, where he graduated in 1989. Coach Christian played football for the East Tennessee State University Buccaneers for three seasons, 1989-1991, and graduated in 1993 with a B.A. in Business Administration. In 1997, he earned his Master’s degree in Arts and Teaching, with a focus on secondary education.
- During his playing career, Coach’s preferred position was offensive tackle, which prepared him well for his tenure coaching the entire offensive line. Christian believes that the success of any team’s offense lies in the hands of the offensive line, and he loves working with the young men who form this critical unit.
- For Coach Christian, life isn’t just about football. It’s also about enjoying time with friends and family. He loves to trout fish and enjoys taking family hikes. The Christian family vacations include “going anywhere” and annual treks to the beach, in which the coach admittedly likes to “sit on the beach and do nothing!”
- When asked about the best lesson he ever learned from Coach Graham Clark, he responded that there were too many to list, but one thing that stood out in his mind was to always work hard for the kids.
- As he begins his new role leading the D-B Football program, Coach Christian’s coaching philosophy is three-fold:
- Help each member of the team be the best at the fundamentals of the game.
- Encourage each member to work hard and give 100% effort at every practice, in every scrimmage, and in every game.
- Teach the players to approach the game with a mindset of being physical for each play.
Congratulations, Coach! We can’t wait to kick off the 2018 season with you on August 17, 2018 as the Tribe hosts the defending state champion Greeneville Green Devils in J. Fred Johnson Stadium. Roll Tribe!
Though it may be front and center in the minds of KCS children and educators these days, standardized testing is only one measure of how well prepared students in Kingsport City Schools are for the exciting and challenging futures that await them. Both inside and outside the classroom, our students are participating in a wide variety of district, regional, and state-wide competitions to test their applied knowledge and skills.
How are KCS students pursuing excellence? This week in the Saturday Six, we’ll take a look at the KCS Science Olympiad Teams and the Dobyns-Bennett Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC), who have been competing in various venues over the past few months.
- Teams from KCS participated in the Tennessee Science Olympiad that was held on April 7, 2018 at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. In order to compete at the state tournament, teams had to initially compete and place in district-level competition. Kingsport City Schools did just that, sweeping through the regional competition to place three teams in the state tournament.
- Robinson Middle School’s Science Olympiad team won first place in the district competition and placed third overall out of 24 teams at the state event. Fifteen students competed in 23 different events spanning all areas of science and engineering. Students from Robinson placed first in two individual events – Rocks and Minerals, as well as Disease Detectives. Robinson’s successful team was coached by Marsha Buck, Daniel Way, and Cameron Buck.
- Sevier Middle School placed second in the district event in their first year of team competition, while the team at Dobyns-Bennett also scored high enough to win the right to compete at the state-level tournament. Sevier’s team was coached by Jessie Crowe and Brad Fissel, while the Dobyns-Bennett team was student-led and coached by D-B senior Hannah Jackson.
- The Science Olympiad was founded in 1984 to increase K-12 student and teacher participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). It is one of the premier science competitions in the nation, providing rigorous, standards-based challenges to 7,800 teams in all 50 states.
- Academic teams are not the only KCS groups faring well at recent competitions. The Dobyns-Bennett Air Force JROTC unit has continued its award-winning journey by winning third place overall (Small Unit Division) in the 6th Annual Appalachian Region ROTC Championship.
- The D-B cadets also won first place in Overall Drill and Best Air Force Unit, and had first and second place finishes in every drill category at this competition! The D-B AFJROTC unit, under the command of Colonel Eric Vogt and Chief Master Sergeant Melanie Blankenship, is considered one of the top 10% JROTC units world-wide.
Students at Kingsport City Schools are provided with many opportunities to demonstrate their academic prowess, work collaboratively toward a common goal, and achieve extraordinary results against well-trained peers. Whether in academics, fine arts, athletics, or leadership, KCS students are succeeding and setting new standards for themselves and those students who will follow in their footsteps!
Take a quick look around Kingsport City Schools, and you’ll see students of all ages accomplishing great things through leadership, hard work and collaboration. If the words of Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi are true that “Leaders aren’t born … they are made,” what is it that is shaping these young leaders?
KCS makes it a priority to provide students of all ages with opportunities to develop their leadership potential. One program in place at two elementary schools (Jackson and Johnson), The Leader in Me, is designed to help grow young leaders. The Leader in Me, developed by Franklin Covey, is a program that “teaches leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader.”
This week in the Saturday Six, let’s look at how leadership skills are developed through this program, student by student.
- At Jackson Elementary, students are empowered to take on leaderships roles very early in their school careers. During the recent Kindergarten screening event, current Kindergarten students ushered pre-k students and their parents to classrooms and shared with them what it is like to be in Kindergarten. Jackson students also serve in leadership roles as school tour guides, greeters, and bus monitors.
- The Jackson BRAVES Council and Junior BRAVES Council are comprised of students who assume leadership roles at school and in the community. Currently, these Council representatives are leading a drive to support a local animal shelter. Students who participate in the school’s EBA (Emotional Bank Account) Club lead celebrations for student and staff birthdays and seek other activities to “fill the buckets” of members of the Jackson Elementary School family!
- Jackson students even take the lead in their own learning. Faculty and staff help students understand their growth as learners, how to set goals and monitor progress, and how to become active learners. In the past, conferences with parents to discuss student progress were led by teachers. Now, students take the lead in these conferences and lead the discussion regarding their growth and progress.
- At Johnson Elementary, all students are encouraged to “find their voice” and make meaningful contributions to the school and the community through shared leadership. Students explore their talents and interests, developing ways in which they can uniquely contribute to the success of their class, school, and community.
- The “application station” at Johnson is a program in which tasks formerly performed by staff are now completed by students. These include delivering Second Harvest Food Bank weekly food bags to classrooms, serving as morning and afternoon greeters, serving on the flag team, and assisting in cafeteria clean-up.
- Every Johnson student has a classroom leadership role. Additionally, the four school-wide assemblies that take place during the year are now completely student-led and student-developed. Students even take the lead in planning and hosting the annual volunteer appreciation lunch. At Johnson, leadership is considered a right, not a privilege!
In Kingsport City Schools, student leaders are being developed every single day. Children of all ages are learning to respect themselves, respect others, and take responsibility for their own actions. By encouraging leadership development in every student, KCS continues to pursue its vision of being “Student Focused … World Class.”
Data shows that the most significant influence on a child’s ability to learn and grow is the presence of an effective teacher. Knowing this, Kingsport City Schools works hard to hire, retain, and develop the very best educators so that all of Kingsport’s children have access to excellent teaching. Great teachers set the scene for great things to happen in the classroom.
This past week, KCS recognized some of our very best educators, as the 2018 Teachers of the Year were honored… this year’s best of the best!
The Saturday Six shines a spotlight on this year’s school and district-wide winners, recognizing them for their effort, their excellence, and their commitment to providing students a world-class educational experience. Congratulations to the 2018 KCS Teachers of the Year!
Each year, the staff at every KCS school votes to select the teacher most deserving of their school-level Teacher of the Year award. This recognition is especially significant, as it represents a peer-selected honor given by co-workers. The school-level winners for 2018 year are:
Pre-K-4th Grade: Jayson Arnold (3rd Grade, Washington), Carrie Conkin (4th Grade, Johnson), Randy Elam (Pre-K, Roosevelt), Ami Frye (4th Grade, Jefferson), Whitney Gibson (2nd Grade, Jackson), Sarah Hall (Pre-K, Palmer Center), and Patti Smith (1st Grade, Lincoln).
5th-8th Grade: Jeff Frye (7th Grade Social Studies, Robinson), Leslie Hardin (7th and 8th Grade English/Language Arts, Sevier), Erica Johnson (7th Grade English/Language Arts, Robinson), John Mallick (8th Grade Social Studies, Sevier), PJ Ryan (5th Grade, Kennedy), and Amanda Senn (5th Grade, Adams).
9th-12th Grade: Allison Berry (English, D-B), Carmen Brooks (English, D-B), Luke Douthat (Science, D-B), Jana Engle (World Language, D-B), Melissa Fields (English, D-B), Sara Shaffer (Digital Arts, D-B EXCEL), and Elizabeth Wilkins (World Language, D-B).
Once school-level winners are announced, a committee of educators and administrators then considers these phenomenal educators and completes the difficult task of selecting the grade-band winners for the entire district. With so many excellent teachers, it is an incredibly difficult task. This year’s district Teachers of the Year are truly outstanding. Congratulations to the 2018 KCS District Teachers of the Year!
Pre-K-4: Ami Frye (4th grade, Jefferson) – Mrs. Frye has a total of sixteen years teaching experience, with eight years in her present position. She is currently a Literacy Teacher Leader, Lead Mentor Teacher, and co-leader of the Literacy committee at Jefferson Elementary. She has also served as a member of the Jefferson Leadership team. She was awarded the Excellence in Leadership Award from Jefferson Elementary during the 2016-17 school year. This is the second time Mrs. Frye has been selected as a District Teacher of the Year; the first was in 1995-96 at Gordon County Schools (GA).
5th-8th Grade: Erica Johnson (7th grade English/Language Arts, Robinson) – Mrs. Johnson has a total of eight years teaching experience, with five in her present position. She is currently serving as Canvas Team Leader, “We are RNR” Action team representative, and yearbook sponsor at Robinson. She has served on the New Teacher committee, Language Arts department chair, and has been a member of the RNR Leadership team. Mrs. Johnson was the recipient of the KCS “Learning Leader” Leadership Award during the 2016-17 school year.
9th-12th Grade: Sara Shaffer (Digital Arts, D-B EXCEL) – Ms. Shaffer has a total of nine years teaching experience, with two in her present position. She is currently serving as Canvas Lead Teacher, Project-Based Learning coordinator, and webmaster at D-B EXCEL. Ms. Shaffer is also a member of the KCS STREAM Leadership team. She was selected to participate in the Competency-Based Education pilot through the TN Department of Education, as well as the Tennessee Micro-Credential pilot. She was selected to be a member of the 2017-18 Tennessee STEM Innovation Network’s (TSIN) Innovative Leaders Institute and was featured as a Teacher of the Month on the TSIN website.
Congratulations to all of the KCS Teachers of the Year!
Spring has arrived! Along with warmer weather and the April showers that will hopefully bring May flowers, the KCS calendar is packed with events and happenings between now and the start of summer. It’s hard to believe that graduation is only eight weeks from today, and with all that will take place over the next 56 days, it will likely be a blur of activity.
This week in the Saturday Six, let’s take a look at some of the major event that jot the KCS calendar this spring.
- There is nothing more exciting than seeing the enthusiasm of young children on the verge of starting their educational journey. For those entering Pre-K, that starts with an initial screening to help start school in the smoothest pay possible. KCS Pre-K screening will take place on April 5, 2018 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Kingsport Civic Auditorium. Know someone with a child who will be four years of age on or before August 15, 2018? Have them click here to learn more about this event.
- Student athletes all across KCS will be hard at work as they compete in their spring seasons. Come support the softball, baseball, soccer, and track athletes at D-B, Sevier, and Robinson Middle Schools all season long. Click here to view the spring athletic calendar.
- Spring is a great time to honor the men and women that have worked so hard to support Kingsport’s students learn and grow. The Kingsport City Schools Hall of Fame honors former employees that helped make KCS great, and the Dobyns-Bennett Alumni Association Hall of Fame recognizes former D-B grads that have made an exemplary impact. Nominations are now being accepted for both Halls. Click here to learn more about the KCS HOF (nominations due May 1) and click here to learn more about the D-B Alumni Association Hall of Fame (nominations due May 31).
- With the end of the school year comes state testing for most all grade 3-12 students in Tennessee. When does this year’s testing begin? For most elementary students, testing will start the week of April 16. Middle school testing is currently slated to begin on April 17. At the high school level, testing is determined by course, but testing will start on April 16 and should conclude the first week of May.
- Many end-of-year awards ceremonies and programs will be taking place at all of our schools during the last few weeks of May. We’ve compiled that information for you and have posted it on our events calendar. It’s a one-stop-shop for all of your program and ceremony scheduling information. Click here to view.
- Mark your calendars now! Graduation day at Dobyns-Bennett is a yearly celebration of our students that is not to be missed. This year’s commencement will take place on Saturday, May 26, 2018 in J. Fred Johnson Stadium. Ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m.
Don’t miss a moment! Click here to access the KCS Activity Calendar and keep track of all the upcoming events.
Next week in the Saturday Six: The KCS Teachers of the Year have been announced. Tune in next week to learn more about these extraordinary educators that have been recognized as the best of the best!