Lincoln School District honors 18 ‘difference makers’

Published 6:50 am Thursday, December 22, 2016

STANFORD – Teachers and staff of Lincoln County’s Exceptional Child Services department were recognized for going above and beyond the scope of their jobs for the sake of students. 

A ceremony was held Dec. 13 at the Lincoln County Student Support Center on Danville Avenue and a large crowd gathered as 18 Making a Difference award nominees were honored and six finalists were recognized. 

“I’m very excited to have these 18 finalists and I’m very excited to recognize them tonight,” said Jackie Risden-Smith, director of instructional equity and academic support.

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Director of Curriculum, Assessment, & Instruction Jim Ward introduced each of the final 2016 Making A Difference Award nominees and detailed the reasons why they were chosen.

Characteristics of those recognized included dedicating extra personal time to students, always maintaining an optimistic attitude and being a team player. 

Nominees were chosen based on their accountability, collaboration, decisiveness, flexibility, integrity and honesty, interpersonal skills, oral and written communication, problem solving and resilience. 

Having a “whatever it takes attitude” is something all of the award nominees have in common. 

Award nominees included a variety of staff members from Exception Child Teachers to bus drivers and transportation managers. 

“We wanted this to be another way we celebrate and acknowledge the excellent work of our educators who are truly making a difference in the lives of students,” Risden-Smith said. “We have so many in the Lincoln County School District and it was an honor to recognize some of them today.”

The 18 Making a Difference award nominees were: 
Erin Brummett, Exceptional Child Teacher, LCMS; Kim Bolton, Exceptional Child Teacher, Crab Orchard Elementary; Zonda Byrd, Exceptional Child Teacher Leader, Hustonville, Highland and Waynesburg Elementary; Lisa Caldwell, bus driver, district-wide; Larry Carrier, Transportation Manager, District Office; Amanda Coffman, General Education Teacher, LCHS; Dawn Day, Exceptional Child Teacher, LCHS; Bonnie Denham, Instructional Assistant, Highland Elementary; Amanda Foster, General Education Teacher, Hustonville Elementary; Allison Gibson, General Education Teacher, LCMS; Linda Green, Century 21 Coordinator, LCHS; Darin Lane, Exceptional Child Teacher, Stanford Elementary; Suzanna Montgomery, APC, Highland Elementary; Denise Nyborg, Speech Language Pathologist, Crab Orchard Elementary and LCHS; Daveida Smith, Exceptional Child Teacher Leader, LCMS, LCHS and FLHS; John Smith, Exceptional Child Teacher, LCMS; Kelly Tagarook-Brown, General Education Teacher, McKinney Elementary; Kathy Wood, Exceptional Child Teacher, Highland Elementary.
The six finalists recognized were Larry Carrier, Bonnie Denham, Denise Nyborg, Amanda Coffman, Allison Gibson and Kathy Wood. 
“Great things are happening with our Lincoln County children,” Risden-Smith said, bringing the awards ceremony to a close.