The Rotary Club of Bristol honored two of Bristol’s most outstanding teachers Tuesday during a virtual and drive-thru celebration at the Bristol Train Station that was broadcast on BTES Cable and Facebook Live.
Teachers were nominated for the 33rd annual Frank W. DeFriece Jr. Teacher Awards from the school systems in Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia, with one final teacher chosen from each system to be the 2020 Rotary Outstanding Teacher, according to a news release. Each school submitted a nomination packet that was then scored by an anonymous panel of nine judges composed of public educators and business representatives, the release states.
April Stipes, a teacher at Fairmount Elementary School in Tennessee, and Karen Branson, a teacher at Stonewall Jackson Elementary School in Virginia, were honored Tuesday. The teachers each received a $3,000 cash award, a $1,000 donation for needed equipment to each teacher’s respective school and a circulating plaque that will be displayed at each school.
Stonewall Jackson Principal Linda Brittle said Branson “role-models behaviors befitting a master teacher.”
In Virginia, those nominated were Washington-Lee Elementary teacher Brandon Sturgill, Virginia Middle School teacher Katherine Wallace, Virginia High School teacher Raejean “Rayjie” Harman, Van Pelt Elementary teacher Tonya Neirmans and Highland View Elementary teacher Randall Hodge.
The Rotary Club said each nominee received a $500 cash award.