Wednesday, May 02, 2007

West Smithfield Music Teacher Amanda Huerta Named First Year Teacher Of The Year

Amanda Huerta (center) has been named Johnston County Schools First Year Teacher of the Year. She is congratulated by Superintendent Dr. Tony Parker and Terri Sessoms, Lead Teacher with School Improvement.

Amanda Huerta is Johnston County Schools' new First Year Teacher of the Year for 2007-2008. A K-5 music teacher at West Smithfield , Huerta is hailed as a teacher who identifies her students' strengths and gifts and builds upon them, generating a "very positive and nurturing relationship with the student body." In fact, says her principal Todd Holmes, "Amanda Huerta represents all that is positive at West Smithfield Elementary." Huerta can be found routinely in her room working alongside students on the floor, at a music station, or demonstrating a dance or choreography step. Her focus is on success for every student rather than on being a great singer or musician. She is creative, consistently maintains positive, two-way communication with teachers, the administration, and parents, regularly participates in West Smithfield 's Manners Matter lunches to celebrate positive behavior, leads the school chorus Eagle Center Stage, and consistently generates new ideas on behalf of the students. Vanessa Watson, Media Coordinator for West Smithfield and Huerta's mentor, sums it up: "I am amazed at Ms. Huerta. I think she was a teacher in another life...I feel that I've won the mentor lottery because I'm blessed to have her as my mentee."


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