IWCS teachers are ‘outstanding representatives’

Published 10:15 am Friday, May 25, 2018

by Jim Thornton

On Tuesday night, Isle of Wight County Schools celebrated both our retirees and our Teachers of the Year. It was a wonderful ceremony that gave us a chance to recognize some of the special employees we have working throughout the division. The Teachers of the Year were chosen by their colleagues and represent a wide range of experience, grade levels, and content areas.

Elementary Teachers of the Year include PreKindergarten teacher Cherie’ Karmilovich from Carrsville; Kindergarten teacher Sharon Hansley from Hardy; and fifth grade teachers Elizabeth Littlefield and Ronald Bailey, from Windsor and Westside respectively. The Elementary Teacher of the Year, Kristy Vukmanic, teaches STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) at Carrollton Elementary. Art teacher Alyssa Canady is the Smithfield High Teacher of the Year, and history teacher Maggie Halstead is the Windsor High and IWCS High School Teacher of the Year. English teacher Kimberly St. George was selected as the Georgie Tyler Middle School Teacher of the Year. Finally, the IWCS Teacher of the Year is Beverly Burke, a math teacher from Smithfield Middle School. Beverly is in her 22nd year of teaching, with the last 12 years spent at SMS. She is also a product of Isle of Wight County Schools. All of these teachers are outstanding representatives of the quality individuals we have working in all of our schools.

I also noticed that several of our Teachers of the Year had been with the division for most of the career.  People have found that our division is not only a good place for an education, but it is also an extraordinary place to work. I saw that reflected in the years of service that flashed on the screen during the tribute for our retirees. Those 22 employees have over 425 years of service to Isle of Wight County Schools alone. That equals to almost 20 years for each retiree. Quite a few have been with the division for the majority of their careers.

Seven of them have 30 or more years just with IWCS, which I think deserves special recognition. They are: Jo-Ann Wilson, Smithfield High; Diane Pearson, Windsor Elementary; Carla Duck, Windsor High; Annette Wilson, Smithfield Middle; Linda Stokes, Central Office; Betty Entsminger, Central Office; and Karen Willard from Carrollton Elementary, who is retiring after 40 years of serving as an elementary music teacher in our schools.

The number of children whose lives they have touched is in the upper tens of thousands. They are truly leaving a living legacy as they transition to the next stage of their life. I am extremely proud that these amazing individuals chose to make Isle of Wight County Schools their home for much of their career.  Our children, our parents and our community have all benefited from the dedication and commitment demonstrated by these exceptional individuals.

DR. JIM THORNTON is superintendent of the Isle of Wight County Public Schools. Contact him at 357-4393.