LaToya Warren, an eighth-grade language arts teacher at Lexington Middle School, was named Lexington City Schools Teacher of the Year during the district’s annual recognition ceremony Friday.
Warren said she was truly grateful for the recognition of her and all the other educators in the school system. She said most educators do what they do because they have a love for teaching and making a difference in the lives of children.
“I am at a loss for words for once,” Warren said. “We work so hard and it is often unrecognized what we do. I am so passionate about what I do. There is nothing else I would rather do than to be an educator. … I am truly honored for your recognizing me and believing in me.”
Lexington City Schools Superintendent Rick Kriesky said district officials feel it is important to recognize the hard work of all of their teachers, but especially those who were nominated by the staff at each individual school.
“You exemplify the best of what is in our classroom,” Kriesky told the educators gathered at Childress Vineyards for the event. “There are other teachers who work hard for our children, but you are the representative that your staff has chosen. That should mean the world to you. Not only are you doing your job, but your peers recognize you for what you do.”
Other teachers recognized as their individual school teacher of the year were Sharyl Beck, South Lexington Developmental Center; Wendy Rickman, South Lexington School; Kelly Carter, Charles England Elementary School; Hope Johnson, Pickett Elementary School; Jennifer Freeman, Southwest Elementary School; and Corrette Miller, Lexington Senior High School.
Fernando Solano, an English as a second language teacher at South Lexington Elementary School, received the city school system’s teacher of the year award last year.
Also during the ceremony, one of the three community members chosen to judge the nominees for teacher of the year made an additional contribution. Beth Bunce announced that Bunce Buildings will give the teacher of the year at each school $500, with an additional $500 going to the district’s teacher of the year.
Bunce said that she had such difficulties in choosing one teacher out of all the nominees because they were so outstanding in their individual ways. She said she and her family wanted to give each teacher something special to recognize their contributions to the school system.
“I want to thank all of you educators who give your time and talent to Lexington,” Bunce said. “How do you say which flower is the most beautiful, which bird sings the most beautiful or which diamond shines the brightest? You are all flowers, you all deserve recognition.”
By Sharon Myers / The Dispatch
Donnie Roberts / Photo