By far, we received the most nominations for the Crystal Apple Award in our Teacher of the Year Category. I think the amount of nominations are testimony to our great staff and the excellence they create each and every day. Because of the level of excellence among our staff members, the first recipient of this award certainly stands out as the best of the best. From several nominations, six semi-finalists were referred to the Foundation’s Board of Directors by the administrative team, and the Foundation Board then determined the three finalists and the award winner. Among other things, each finalist demonstrates a mastery of subject matter, inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, and demonstrates high motivation, initiative, integrity, commitment, and exceptional judgment.
Our first finalist, Mrs. Sandi Brown, was nominated by fellow teacher, Mrs. Janice Wesolowski. In her nominating statement, Mrs. Wesolowski noted, “Sandi Brown is dedicated to the education of children. She challenges her students to achieve their full potential. She also helps put on the Veteran’s Day Assembly and spends time planning and judging the students’ projects. She sent the students’ patriotic pictures to veterans in the hospital and promoted the Socks for Soldiers collection. She is an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and her church. She is also a class advisor who handles many fundraisers. The best feature of Sandi Brown is her smile. She lights up the halls of Hicksville Elementary.”
Our second finalist, Mr. Nathan Ferrell, was nominated by Kathy Green, who wrote, “Nathan is an honest, determined person. He has great strength of character. Nathan goes above and beyond his capabilities in everything he does in the classroom and life.” Parent, Deb Willis, also nominated Mr. Ferrell and she noted, “Both my children, Andrew and Jordan, were lucky enough to have Mr. Ferrell for the fifth grade. He brought excitement to learning for them. He used unconventional techniques to get their attention and keep them interested.” Another nomination for Mr. Ferrell was received by fellow teacher, Angie Provines, who wrote, “He teaches his classes with enthusiasm, encouraging all his students to take part, and reaching out to those who are academically challenged. Nathan has a deep love for God and I believe he shows this each and every day as he reaches out to those around him.”
Our third finalist, Mrs. Angie Provines, was nominated by 4 different individuals. Fellow teacher Lisa Slattery wrote, “Angie Provines not only teaches students with special needs, which takes a special person, but she also gives of her time and loving, caring talents to Hicksville Schools.” Another colleague, Deanna Wise, added, “ Angie is an active participant not only in our school, but also in our community. Angie’s involvement and energy are unmatchable.” Another nominator, Bob Weatherhead noted, “Angie is the smile of the school. Directing traffic each day, she is the last person many see when they leave the school, and I can’t think of anyone who could represent the district any better than she does.” And finally, student Aubrey Kemerer also nominated Mrs. Provines for this honor, stating, “Mrs. Provines has dedicated her time to helping everyone and does so much around the school, never asking for anything in return. This award would recognize all of her hard work.”
The recipient of the first Crystal Apple Award for Teacher of the Year was Mrs. Angie Provines. Mrs. Provines is a fitting representative of a staff of amazing teachers. She not only goes to great lengths to ensure success for her students, but also volunteers so much of her time and energy to do “over and beyond” projects for our school and our community. Earlier this year, Mrs. Provines organized a chili cook-off here at the school, with the revenue benefitting Relay for Life. She doesn’t have to do things like this, and goodness knows she is extremely busy. But it’s this type of thing that makes Angie so very special. She is a doer, and our school and community are the fortunate beneficiaries of her kindness and generosity. As the Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Provines is receiving a $500 stipend from the Hicksville School Foundation to fund a project in her classroom. This cash award is given in honor of not only Mrs. Provines, but also The Hicksville Rotary Club, the recipient of the Crystal Apple Award as the Keith McDonald Outstanding Community Partner and Mrs. Carol Early, recipient of the Crystal Apple Award as Outstanding Support Staff Member. Thank you to our three award recipients for being part of the excellence that is Hicksville Village Schools.