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Carawan Teacher of the Year, Buck Employee of the Year

The Teacher and Employee of the Year for Gilchrist County School District was announced at the January 28, Gilchrist County Rotary meeting. The district wide Teacher of the Year went to Sandra Carawan of Bell Elementary and the Employee of the Year went Charley Buck, a PreK teacher at Trenton Elementary School.
Superintendent Robert Rankin introduced the principals from each school who introduced the winners from each school. Then Superintendent Rankin announced the two district wide winners.
Brent Douglas, Bell High School Assistant Principal introduced their teacher of the year, Thomas Cannon. Mr. Douglas said, “Mr. Cannon epitomizes the characteristics that a successful teacher must have to not only teach but connect with students in our current day and age.” He went on to say that Mr. Cannon understands how to get results teaching the curriculum in 8th grade English Language Arts class. The state assessment results from last year showed 73% of his students scored a Level 3 or higher. The state average in 8th grade ELA was 58%. His great work also helped the Gilchrist County School District earn the 2nd highest 8th grade ELA scores as compared to all other counties in the state. Mr. Cannon is known to inspire his students as well as make learning fun.
Bell High School did not have an Employee of the year.
Trenton High School Principal Cheri Langford introduced the Teacher of the year for THS, Mrs. Andrea Arnow. Mrs. Arnow has been the 6th grade science teacher for the past four years. Mrs. Langford said, “She is one of the most amazing people I have had the pleasure to call my friend. She has worked most of last year and this year, while fighting stage four breast cancer.” Mrs. Arnow is a motherly figure among her teammates and she puts others before herself. She believes all children should be provided an educational environment where they can reach their fullest potential.
Bell Elementary Principal Suzanne Mathe introduced Sandra Carawan as the Bell Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Carawan is also the District teacher of the year. Principal Mathe said, “Mrs. Carawan is a tremendous asset to Bell Elementary School.” She teaches 5th grade ESE and she is the lead teacher for her grade level. She is also the BES School Advisory Chair, BES Safety Patrol Sponsor and District 21st Century Evaluator/Coordinator, a Positive Behavior Support team member, and a Data Evaluator for the entire Gilchrist County School District. Principal Mathe went on to say that the roles that Mrs. Carawan plays and the holes she fills are countless.
Trenton Elementary School Principal Rhonda Adkins introduced the Trenton Elementary Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Jamie Guy, who teaches first grade. Mrs. Guy has been teaching for 6 1/2 years and with Gilchrist School District for the past 2 1/2 years. She works with the 21st Century after school program where she teaches math. Principal Adkins said, “Mrs. Guy is the kind of teacher you can depend on to get things done, always on time with everything and always willing to help out where she is needed. She is known to have a non-stressful way of teaching and getting results from the students without pushing them too far. Her students think she is fun and the best teacher because she makes learning fun.
Charley Buck is the Employee of the Year for the District and Trenton Elementary School’s Employee of the Year. Her Principal Rhonda Adkins said, “She has been teaching PreK for ten years and her greatest successes are her child/family connections that she had made over the years.” She has served on many school/district committees and is very active in her church. When asked, her peers say that Charley goes above and beyond for the PreK teams and PreK students.
Shelly Hendrix is the Employee of the Year at Bell Elementary School where she has worked as a paraprofessional for the past two years. Her Principal Suzanne Mathe said she is “highly motivated, intelligent, proactive, dependable individual who takes her position very seriously and is always looking for ways to assist the students and the staff at BES.” She also said Shelley is highly involved and will assist with any initiative that we have at school.
Cindy Bivens is the Trenton High School Employee of the year. She has been a non instructional paraprofessional with Trenton High School for the past three years. Principal Langford said that Mrs. Bivens is a very dedicated employee, arriving early to ensure two students meet their bus to attend school at Bell High’s unit for students with special needs. She has a special relationship with these students. Her ability to connect with children with disabilities is very special. She makes sure the students are safe, nurtured and held accountable for learning according to her principal.
David Dose introduced Debra Roberts as the District Office Employee of the Year. Mrs. Roberts joined the staff in 2018, and replaced retiring longtime School Board Secretary Glenda Hagan. Mrs. Roberts has also taken on several other duties in the finance department.
The District Teacher of the Year Sandra Carawan received a check for $500. The check was sponsored by Florida Transportation Systems, Inc., Blue Bird buses.
District Employee of the year Charley Buck received a check for $300. Her award was sponsored by Gray Construction Services.

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