Chapman is System Teacher of Year
By Stephanie Johns
The Morgan County School System named Morgan County Primary School second grade teacher Stacy Chapman System-wide Teacher of the Year.
Teachers filed into the primary school cafeteria after school ended Thursday and waited to hear an announcement from MCPS Principal Betsy Short.
“Why did we come together last week?” she asked.
Teachers started grinning and clapping as they replied, “Teacher of the Year!”
Short continued, “Today we have to announce the System (Teacher of the Year).”
Those present cheered before giving Chapman a standing ovation.
Chapman said she is not often at a loss for words but had to take a minute to gather her thoughts.
“Thank you to everybody here at Morgan County Primary,” she said. “I’ve only been here five years and feel like I’ve been here for a really, really long time.”
Amidst laughter from the other teachers she said MCPS had embraced her and made her feel at home.
“Thank you to everybody who has encouraged me,” she said. “Thank you to everybody who has helped me.”
Short later explained that Chapman and two other teachers were nominated by their MCPS peers. A vote was taken and Chapman was chosen to represent MCPS. She then was interviewed by judges from the community.
“I’m grateful, humbled, amazed,” she said. “I’m real grateful they picked me as someone to carry the title.”
Chapman has received her bachelor’s, master’s, and specialist’s degrees while working at MCPS. She and a certified special educator, Hillary Stapp, teach collaboratively.
The next step in the process is to submit Chapman’s paperwork to the Georgia Department of Education (GDOE) so she can be considered for Georgia Teacher of the Year.
Short said the GDOE will review packets and select finalists before narrowing down the applicants to the final one.
During her interview with the BOE, Champan said she was asked how she engages her students.
“I laugh, I dance, I sing,” she said. “Whatever’s necessary to teach my kids.”
She became a teacher because of her positive experience as a student in Morgan County.
“The love and support from the teachers here – they helped raise me,” she said. “It’s been a calling for me.”
It is a calling that she ran from initially: she worked as a metal worker for nine years before becoming an educator.
When asked why she chose to work in Morgan County, her answer was succinct: “I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”
Printed in the November 15, 2012 edition