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We congratulate: Nominated teachers are winners already

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Sloane Barnett and Jennifer Cox are two of the 24 men and women statewide being considered for the honor of the state’s Teacher of the Year and moving on to national competition.

Two more Shelby Countians are being considered among the very best at what they do in the state, and we like that.

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Sloane Barnett and Jennifer Cox are two of the 24 men and women statewide being considered for the honor of the state’s Teacher of the Year and moving on to national competition.

Ms. Barnett, who teaches at Simpsonville Elementary, will vie with seven others for the top honor among elementary teachers. Ms. Cox, who teachers language arts at East Middle School, faces the same field among middle school instructors.

The winners in those categories, along with one of eight high school teachers, will compete for Teacher of the Year.

This is no new honor for Shelby County – Southside Principal Susanne Burkhardt in fact won the overall award in 2007 – but it is a wonderful underscore for the commitment and effort of all who are selected as finalists.

Ms. Barnett last spring was named by WHAS-TV as its ExCEL for the county. Both she and Ms. Cox were nominated by Shelby County Public Schools.

We’re sure that both of them are excited by the possibility of winning the award, but we think they already have won based on how they responded when they learned they were finalists.

Said Ms. Barnett: “Along with myself and Ms. Cox, every teacher in Shelby County deserves recognition for the role he or she plays in building positive relationships and setting high expectations for the learners in our community.”

Said Ms. Cox: “Shelby County is in the business of growing teachers in their craft so they can impact students on many levels: academically socially and emotionally.”

We can’t conceive of more telling statements by persons who are charged with the development of our children. We understand teaching is a calling, and these words describe that best.

So we won’t worry about the announcement next month. We know who the winners are.