When it comes to students, Sherry Putt “loves the ones who are often the most difficult to love.”
With over 43 years of experience, the Alcorn School District Alternate School teacher was selected the 2020-21 districtwide Teacher of the Year on Monday night during the February Board of Education meeting.
“At the alternate school, we measure student success one student at a time. We have a lot of kids that come through there – they are at risk and are often unreachable, but Ms. Putt always seems to find a way,” said Randy Holt, the alternative school’s director.
Putt has spent the last five years as at the alternative center teaching a range of different subjects to all ages.
“Just this morning, Ms. Putt was going back and forth, teaching two different subjects to a fourth grade girl on one side and a eighth grader on the other side,” added Holt.
Putt has eight different certifications, a master’s degrees in educational technology and has been awarded eight teacher grants and recognized in the Who’s Who in North American Education.
“She touches the lives of our students everyday by pouring into them not only academically, but also socially and emotionally,” said Angela Harris, district assistant superintendent.
Harris spearheaded the Teacher of the Year project for the district.
“This program recognizes outstanding teachers at the district, state and national levels,” she said. “MDE as well as ASD knows that effective classroom teachers are the backbone for creating an educational system that give students the knowledge and skills to be successful.”
Harris said each principal selected one teacher of the year to represent their school. The recipients have almost 250 years of combined teaching experience, along with multiple graduate degrees and over 30 certifications and endorsements.
The teachers selected for each campus as Teacher of the Year included Kellie Shadburn, Alcorn Central Elementary; Amy Williams, Alcorn Central Middle; Darla Nash, Alcorn Central High; Andrea Coleman (not pictured), Biggersville Elementary; Holly Tyson, Biggersville High; Holly Seago, Kossuth Elementary; Chrissy Lee, Kossuth Middle; Donnita Ginn, Kossuth High; Putt, alternative school; and Dennis Deaton, Alcorn Career and Technology Center.
After interviews with each teacher, a panel of experienced educational outsiders selected Putt to represent the district at the state level. MDE will then select the top 16 candidates – four from each congressional district – to be considered for the state teacher of the year award.
“Any time we can thank a teacher, we need to take that opportunity,” added Harris. “If there has ever been a year deserving to sing their praises, it would definitely this one.”