Carroll Independent School District recognized Melissa Bailey and Jared Sutton as the district’s Teachers of the Year.The teachers accepted the honor at the End of Year Celebration in late May.Bailey, who has taught for 18 years was “shocked” when she received the honor.“I wasn't expecting it,” Bailey said. “Because there are so many people who were also campus teachers of the year that I hold in high regard, and for me to be selected out of that group I was stunned and it was an unbelievable honor.”Bailey has taught at Durham Intermediate School for seven years. She teaches fifth grade social studies, and the gifted and talented social studies/humanities class.She said her success comes from her ability to feed off her students’ energy and cater her teaching style to them.“One of the things I feel strongly about is we’re not educating students we’re educating children,” she said. “I try to tailor my teaching and my style to the needs of my students.”Bailey said her favorite part of being a teacher is seeing her students come up with their own solutions.“If you don’t give them limits it’s amazing what they’ll do, what they can accomplish,” she said.Sutton, this year’s Secondary District Teacher of the Year, teaches eighth grade U.S. history at Dawson Middle School. He said receiving the honor was both humbling and overwhelming.Sutton said building relationships with students is key to success.“You can speak and be innovative and do all those things, but if you cannot connect with a student on a personal level and build a relationship then it’s all for naught,” he said.Sutton, who taught high school and junior college before coming to Carroll, said he found that he could make a stronger impact with younger children. “I rely a lot on my counter parts to keep me motivated and pushing to keep me motivated,” he said. “The greatest motivation is when you see a kid that gets an ‘a-ha’ moment, or as teachers call it a light-bulb moment, that’s a huge boost in personal satisfaction.”Each of the district’s 11 campuses selects a teacher of the year, then a committee selects two individuals for the district accomplishment.Bailey and Sutton will represent Carroll in the Region XI Teacher of the Year contest.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dustindangli