2022-2023 Tyrah Rucks
Ms. Tyrah Rucks has been an elementary school teacher in the Mitchell County School System for five years. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Albany State University and Master’s degree from Columbus State University. She is a life-long learner who is willing to take risks and challenges herself every year to become a better educator. As an alumnae from the “Unsinkable” Albany State University, where “Potential is Realized”, Ms. Rucks encourages her students to realize their potential and instills in them the value of hard work. Within the school, Ms. Rucks serves as a member of the Curriculum Coordinating Council (CCC), along with the superintendent, administrators, and other professional staff members from within the district. She is also very involved outside of the classroom. She has worked as an assistant basketball coach and an elementary cheerleading coach. Ms. Rucks loves attending extracurricular activities to support her students. According to Ms. Rucks, “she embraces and believes in the importance of building relationships with her students.” She also believes that a classroom is a community and that we should all work together as a team to help each other build those positive relationships.
2021-2022 Kimberly Wilkerson
Kimberly Wilkerson has been a teacher in the Mitchell County School System for three years. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University and Master’s degree from Walden University. Ms. Wilkerson stated “I am a firm believer that all students can and will learn if given the opportunity and support that is needed to feel confident and secure.” Ms. Wilkerson insists that her greatest contribution is the “ability to continuously find ways to continue the education process while keeping safety at the forefront of my mind. I must lead by example by practicing safety measures inside and outside of the classroom so that I can remain healthy enough to plan and implement effective learning opportunities on a daily basis.” Ms. Wilkerson has been an elementary school teacher for 20 years. She considers herself an outstanding teacher because she models how to learn the standards and designs the lessons to allow students of all abilities to participate in the learning process. She believes “we should teach our students to have confidence in themselves and to find balance in their lives. We can do this by helping them develop their character so that they become adults who have strong moral principles and are able to positively contribute to society.”
2020-2021 Zandria Wright
Zandria Wright has been a teacher in the Mitchell County School System for five years. She received her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from Albany State University. Ms. Wright stated “As a little girl, she always had a passion to teach, always pretending to be the teacher with her relatives. She wants to influence children and encourage them that they can reach any goal they desire, but they must first believe in themselves and never give up.” Ms. Wright insists that her greatest contribution is the “gift of sharing her teaching skills.” She stated, “A true teacher has the ability to reach a child through love, caring, and developing that special relationship that meets each child’s needs.” Ms. Wright was nominated last year for the Teacher of the Year honor. She has been the 2nd Grade Chairperson for the last two years and she has been
recognized for having monthly perfect attendance throughout the school year. She volunteers with the youth department at her church and has been the Baby Eagles Cheerleading Head Coach for four consecutive years. She is also a member of the Spirit Committee, Honors Committee, and Safety Committee at MCES. She considers herself an outstanding teacher because she brings different tools to the classroom that makes learning fun and understandable for the students. She creates chants and songs, uses videos and mini-laptops, and integrates real-life scenarios into the classroom which keeps the students highly engaged in the curriculum.
2019-2020 Patrice Dawson Mitchell County Elementary School Teacher of the Year
Mitchell County Elementary School Teacher of the Year
2017 - 2018
Ashlee Shiver has been a teacher in the Mitchell County School System for four years. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Grand Canyon University in Arizona and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She has a passion for special education and celebrates every milestone, no matter how big or small, with her students. She supports her students through the learning process because she knows this is only the beginning of their journey. Mrs. Shiver insists that her mission is to “…give my children the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom. I ensure that many opportunities of learning exist beyond the walls of our classroom by teaching my children to explore different routes and methods of learning. Learning takes place well-beyond pencil, paper, and textbooks.” Mrs. Shiver’s message to all is that ALL children can achieve. Children achieve and learn at different levels and have different abilities. The most important step to ensure that all children become achievers is to have supportive and driven educators working with them. Achievement does not just come in the form of high test scores. She chooses to take the position that her students can and will do things beyond what most people believe they can accomplish. This idea can be applied to all students. She believes that “sometimes we have to go beyond the obvious when we work with children.”
2016-2017 Lucresha Silas Mitchell County Elementary School Teacher of the Year
Lucresha Silas has been a primary and elementary school teacher in the Mitchell County School System for 17 years. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University and Master’s degree from Albany State University, both in Early Childhood Education. She wants “to be able to give back to young children the same type gifts that were given to her as a child…teach them that they can be whatever they would like, but they must have goals to accomplish those things.” Mrs. Silas insists that her greatest contribution to education is passion for education, patience, and understanding.
As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, she was always focused on education and involved in many youth programs. She has received professional learning/training in behavior interventions, flexible grouping in literacy, and is a member of the K-8 Innovation in Mathematics Grant team. Mrs. Silas has served as the grade chair for 1st grade and 3rd grade, and is a member of the leadership team. Mrs. Silas created a Summer Enrichment Program at her church for students in grades Prek-12. This service is offered annually and students receive intensive math and reading support during the 3-week program. Community leaders, educators, and former students are invited to come and speak to the youth about being positive and helping them to become better citizens within their community. She believes, “children are our future and how we treat them impacts our future…teaching is a gift from God and every child can learn regardless of race, age, gender, or disability.” Mrs. Silas cherishes the moments where students are able to apply the information learned in her class and relate it to real-world experiences.