Becky Isom received quite the surprise on Nov. 26 when Carroll County Superintendent Dr. Strader Blankenship presented her with the Teacher of the Year for Carroll County Public Schools Award. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mark Burnette, Director of Personnel Jerry King, Woodlawn School Principal Bob Martin and former teacher of the year Dana Burnette were also on hand to honor the 22-year veteran of the classroom.
Isom, who has spent her entire career at Woodlawn School, said she had “no clue” why she was chosen, adding “Maybe it’s because I put up the most resistance.”
“I don’t think you can really pick out any one teacher,” continued Isom. “I work with all the other teachers, and have to say I couldn’t do my job without them. We all support each other in our work with the students.”
Although Isom is a special education teacher in an inclusive classroom, she said at Woodlawn School students who are part of the special education program are not made to feel different.
“Regular education and special education are all together at Woodlawn. I think there’s both good and bad about that, but I can pull any student out of class to provide individual help,” said Isom.
King said Isom’s noting her fellow teachers’ contributions to her success is typical of teachers of the year.
“The teachers who get teacher of the year almost feel uncomfortable at times because of the respect they have for their colleagues,” he said. “This award is really great for me since I was here (at Woodlawn) as principal for two years and know (Isom) is a hard-working teacher. We have a lot of great teachers in Carroll County.”
A committee of Blankenship, King, one school board member, the previous year’s teacher of the year, parents and community members names the teacher of the year after reviewing each candidate’s portfolio, which includes an application letter, three essays and three recommendations.