5th Grade Math Teacher, Tom Ruark
I guess lots of schools across the country select their own Teacher of the Year, but I do think we have more fun with the process than most. On Thursday we "honored" our Boy TOY, Teacher of the Year Tom Ruark in a hilariously irreverent and tissue-crying celebration.
At our school the grade level of the Teacher of the Year, the Spirit Committee and the Media Center staff decorate the Media Center around a theme that is chosen especially for the selected teacher (check out that Mountain Dew can painted by our Art Department!) This year Tom and his family (wife Tracy is a 2nd grade teacher at our school and his daughter is a 5th grade student) entered the Media Center at the appointed time with the staff on each side of a green carpet clapping, yelling and holding up Mountain Dew cans - a Tom favorite. Then the lights were lowered as we were treated to an adorable slide show of Tom's life to music. He was such a cute baby! I think it meant even more to the faculty because Tracy, Tom's wife, is a 2nd grade teacher with us and his daughter is a 5th grader who has been with us for her entire school career. Tom's parents were also in attendance. The slide show began with adorable little Tom as a baby and toddler and moved through his long hair, mustached teen years, his marriage and birth of his daughters. I don't know why but even the funny parts of looking back bring tears to my eyes as I watch a child who has realized his dreams.
As the faculty begins to get in line for an outstanding buffet breakfast, each grade level comes forward to give a skit to represent the Teacher of the Year. Several of the grade levels presented their skits digitally but I hope you can tell from the pictures below how really funny this is!It is such fun to begin the day remembering times that bring tears to your eyes and then laugh until your belly hurts! The morning just makes you feel good about being a teacher! In the evening about 20 of the staff got all glitzed up for the county's Eddy Awards, which celebrates all of the almost 200 Teachers of the Year in our large county. It's a glamorous affair celebrated by 1300 teachers and their families and friends with a delicious dinner, but it's really just icing on the cake. I don't think anything means as much to our Teachers of the Year as being honored by their own - the teachers who know you inside out and still vote for you! Tom, we love and adore you and are so thankful that you have chosen to spend your life making a difference with our precious children! What a gift!