GMSD's Outstanding Employees (January)

BOARD RECOGNIZED OUTSTANDING EDUCATORS.
Last week, Dan Haddow bestowed much need recognition on some teachers who are fast emerging leaders in our school system. The LEAD team, a leadership model that began with GMSD’s formation in 2014 serves as the “best frontline of great minds who are currently in the work,” says Professional Development Coordinator Shamira Davis. “These teachers work 35+ hours in addition to their regular teaching careers, but what they do is so important,” she adds. Each school has been supplied with a Professional Development Lead, a Master Teacher, an Instructional Coach, and a Data Lead. At each school level, one member of their LEAD team was honored for exemplary work.

Tammy Wilson serves as the LEAD Master Teacher at Farmington Elementary.
Tammy has been a teacher for 7 years, with the last 5 at Farmington. She has been a CORE Coach, SCORE Fellow and has been Master Teacher for the last 2 years. She was also the recipient of GMSD’s 2015 Teacher of the Year PK-4 award. Other than her daily work with students, Tammy is most proud of the collaborations that she has with her colleagues. Tammy feels that sustainable positive change for our students only happens when everyone works together. Wilson is married to Jimmy Wilson, Sales Manager at Konica Minolta.  Her and her husband are both lifelong area residents and they have a daughter at Univ. of Memphis and a son at Houston Middle.



Currently, Tammy is in the process of creating Teacher Peer Excellence Groups (TPEG), which is a teacher-collaboration model created by the Tennessee-Shanghai Leadership Collaborative at Vanderbilt University. TPEG is designed to improve teacher instructional practices through collaborative lesson planning, peer observations of instruction, and peer feedback. Her principal, Zachary Percoski, is very supportive of teacher leadership and has given the LEAD team the resources needed.

Mary Lirette serves as the Instructional LEAD at Dogwood Elementary School.
Mary earned her undergrad degree in Human Development and Learning and her masters in Education and Innovation. Currently, she teaches Kindergarten at DES. In addition to teaching, she also serves as the web master. Recognized as one of Tennessee’s Top Educators at ECET2 in 2013 and as Germantown's Teacher of the Month in March 2015, Mary enjoys sharing her teaching ideas and creations with others on her personal blog and at workshops at her school and district level. She is married to Bret Lirette and they have a beautiful 6 year old daughter named Gracie.



Mary’s LEAD team is currently organizing a "Teachers Observing Teachers" initiative for anyone that wants to open up their own classroom and/or have the opportunity to visit other teachers in action.


Karen Barbieri serves as the PD Lead for Riverdale Elementary

Karen chooses 901! Both growing up in Memphis and attending to the University of Memphis--she earned both bachelor and masters degrees. Karen later earned her +45 from Cumberland University. She has been teaching for 19 years in kindergarten and first grade. Currently a first grade teacher at Riverdale, she additionally fills the role of wife and mother at home—her and her husband have 2 children, ages 12 and 8.



Along with her LEAD team, Karen is working to increase student engagement and the rigor in lessons by creating situations for students to learn from each other and share their thought processes with their peers.

Keri Eldridge serves as the Data LEAD Teacher at Houston Middle School
Keri teaches 6th grade science at Houston Middle. This is her fourth year teaching and second year at Houston Middle School. Her and her husband, James have three children, Becca, Gavin, and Grayson. After some spending some time in sales and then as a stay at home mom, Keri decided she wanted to do her part in changing the world. Originally, that looked somewhat different than being accountable for 97 new kiddos every year! However, at some point in her journey to find a way to impact society, she decided that teachers have the COOLEST jobs ever. A new set of kids every year that we can love, feed with knowledge, and inspire to be the change the world needs! Originally a product of Teach for America, she taught for two years in the city of Memphis. It did not take long for her to realize that she loved kids and DATA.



As the data specialist, Keri maintains a data pool of each student’s TCAP history and benchmarks to guarantee that HMS students’ individual needs are being met. Teachers and administrators are quickly able to discover patterns and trends for individuals and entire populations of students. Data led instruction saves time and ensures that targeted areas are being identified.

Evie Wright serves as the LEAD PD teacher at Houston High School
Originally from California, Evie Wright graduated from UCLA and began her teaching career in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She received her Master of Science degree in Educational Psychology & Research from the University of Memphis and has been teaching at Houston High for nine years. While at HHS, she has served as a mentor, PLC lead, Learning Leader, Learning Coach and is now the PD Lead. Having received her SPED certification and Language Development Specialist certificate, Wright enhanced her co-teach instructional methodology in English as well. She is the mother of both a Houston High Honors Academy graduate and a Houston High senior.



Evie’s LEAD team is taping exemplary teachers at HHS to present PD hours in order to offer diversity in presenters, showcase our talent pool, build relationships between teachers who might not cross paths otherwise, and give these teachers the opportunity to earn extra professional development points toward licensure renewal.


Cyndi Flores, a bus driver caught going above and beyond, was also honored
Hear these kind words sent to us by Farmington Elementary School’s Assistant Principal, Ashley Brasfield:
I thought you may want to know about something that happened at Farmington yesterday that had a few 3rd grade teachers and myself tearing up. Earlier in the week, one of our 3rd grade students asked the bus driver of 30814, Ms. Cyndi Flores, to come to his class for his Christmas party. She asked, are you sure you don't want to ask your dad to come? He said, that he really wanted her to be the one to come. Ms. Cyndi was so touched that he asked her to be his guest. She came to his party yesterday and brought muffins for him to share with his class. He was SO excited that she was there for him. He ran and hugged her when she walked in his class for the party. Ms. Cyndi truly cares about each one of her bus riders and she proved that yesterday by going above and beyond to make this student feel special.


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