2017 Railton New Professionals
Pictured (left to right): Elizabeth (Libby) Wilson, Dawn Webster, Elizabeth Thomas, Lauren Schlotz, Haylee Rethman, Evan Pingel, Alex Miriani, Ryan McFall, Melizza Korte, Jolie Dupree and JCPS Executive Director Karen Enloe.
Ten new professionals, who are outstanding in their field of study and have been teaching within the district less than three years, were selected as this year's Railton New Professionals. The New Professionals were recognized at the district’s 2017 Opening Session.
2017 Teacher of the Year
Rhonada Allen has become the go-to person at Thorpe Gordon Elementary School for managing students and their behavior. 15 years experience has taught her that relationships are key. Rhonda truly cares about her students. Although her studetns are only nine years old, Rhonda sets the bar very high for them by showing she truly cares about them and being their biggest cheerleader. So much that recently, when one of her students was struggling with behavior management, she took the time to walk the student all the way home from school to prove she care this much about them and that they were not going to act the way they were while in her class. The dad couldn't believe that Rhonda took the time to walk the student home to let them know that she was not pleased with the student's behavior. Because of that, the rest of the school year was so much better. After losing her dad and brother last year, Rhonda remained stong, thanks to her faith and her friends, and more specifically her mother, Saundra, while continuing to be a difference maker in the eyes of the JCPS community. The night Rhonda was named Teacher of the Year was a special moment for her. Not only does she now share this honor with her mom, who was named Teacher of the Year 20 years ago, but she also believes that her dad and her brother, being her and her mom's guardian angels, played a big part in that moment.
2017 Outstanding Educator
Rhiannon is a Biology teacher at Jefferson City High School (JCHS) and is know for launching the school's first integrated couse- BioLit. Colleagues seek her insight on co-teaching, technology, and of couse, all things Student Council. Rhiannon has trouble saying "no," but says that's likely not a character trait she'll change. Although not knowing fully what she was getting into when committing to teaching BioLit so early on and being a Student Council advisor, she feels these are some of the best committments she could have made! Her passion and commitment to her students truly shines through her hardwork.