An evening to celebrate: Partners in Education Awards a success

By Shelby Harrell Staff Writer | May 19, 2014
Photo by: Shelby Harrell Sadie Crider hugs Ben Parris, who presented her the Mark D. Parris Memorial Scholarship during the 31st annual Partners in Education Scholarship Dinner and Awards.

The Lambuth Inn was packed wall-to-wall Monday evening when teachers, administrators and parents gathered to celebrate the 83 students who were awarded scholarships during the 31st annual Partners in Education Scholarship Dinner and Awards.

A total of 112 scholarships were awarded, which totaled to more than $166,000 in scholarship funding.

The event, sponsored by the Haywood County Schools Foundation, also recognized Haywood County School’s teacher of the year and principal of the year for 2013.

Principal Heather Hollingsworth of Jonathan Valley Elementary School was beaming on stage after being introduced by Superintendent Anne Garrett as principal of the year. Garrett applauded Hollingsworth for her school’s recent recognition as the 2013 National Title I Distinguished School finalist.

“This distinction places our school among the best in the entire nation,” Garrett said. “It’s obvious that Jonathan Valley is a place where children want to learn and teachers want to teach.”

When called on stage, Hollingsworth thanked the school system for its support.

“That’s what makes Haywood County a great place to teach and learn — we support each other,” Hollingsworth said. “The constant support for students and teachers is what makes us successful. It’s an honor to represent the principals of Haywood County.”

The 2013-14 Haywood County Schools Teacher of the Year, Sally Hundley, could not be in attendance at the dinner Monday night. Hundley is a sixth-grade teacher at Bethel Middle School.

When interviewed about her teacher of the year recognition last September, Hundley said she felt humbled to represent Haywood County educators.

“It is the way in which I make an impact on my world and, through it, find purpose,” Hundley said when asked why she loved to teach. “It is excellent to be recognized for that. My students truly are amazing and, I believe, that this award reflects the work that they do, the impact that they are making, and the world that they are creating.”

Tom Posely, the founder of the Haywood County Schools Foundation, later presented the volunteer of the year award to Tommy Bourque, with Old Town Bank.