AREA -- The votes are in and Mammoth Spring teacher Jolie Washam has been selected as the Thayer Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year 2007.
Every year the local Wal-Mart invites students, teachers, parents, administrators or anyone that is active in Alton, Couch, Koshkonong, Mammoth Spring or Thayer schools to vote for their favorite teacher.
This year Washam was selected for this honor.
Washam and her husband Brad live at Mammoth Spring and have a 16-month old daughter, Brynn.
She teachers math and science at Mammoth Spring Junior High School. This is her first year teaching at the school. She taught fifth grade for 10 years at Fairview school in Howell County. Washam said she enjoyed teaching at Fairview but when the position became available at Mammoth Spring she took it because it was more convenient for her family.
Washam is a 1992 graduate of Mammoth Spring High School. She received her bachelors degree from MSU and her masters from SBU at Bolivar.
"I'm still in shock from receiving the award. I couldn't believe it when they announced my name," she said. "There are a lot more teachers more deserving than me. For example, Mrs. Smith (Jo Kay) is retiring this year, she has been a huge role model for me. She would be very deserving of this award."
Washam's mother, Deloris Pendarvis, was a teacher for 25 years. She taught at Couch, Williford and Mammoth Spring schools. Washam said her mother was one of the reasons she chose a teaching career. "My mother inspires me in everything I do," she said.
Washam said today's students are different than when she graduated high school in 1992. "In some ways they are more worldly and more mature. In other ways they are not as mature. They, of course, know more about technology and computers," she said.
Mammoth Spring High School Principal Brian Davis is pleased a teacher at his school received the award.
"Jolie is hard working, enthusiastic and has a good relationship with her students," Davis said. He added that she is always one of the first teachers to arrive at school. "She puts a lot of effort into her job. We are very fortunate to have her as a teacher here," he said.
Davis added that this is the second time a teacher from Mammoth Spring has been chosen as Teacher of the Year. He said several years ago Anita Hunphreys received the honor.
Washam says she is still amazed at receiving the award. "I've not done anything extra special. I have just been doing my job," she said.
Washam received the 2007 Teacher of the Year Award May 7 at the awards banquet at Mammoth Spring School. She was presented the award by Thayer Wal-Mart Support Staff Manager Niki Risner.