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HMC-1 Teacher, Support Person, Leader of the Years Announced

Congratulations to all of our building-level Support Person of the Year and Teacher of the Year honorees! Each year, leadership narrows down the selection of building-level to a series of finalists. The following are our winners and finalists:

Support Edsel Edards2023 Millie Harness District Support Person of the Year: Edsel Edwards, Family Liaison, Millennium at Santa Fe Elementary School – His principal writes, “Every person in our Millennium family feels comfortable approaching Mr. Edwards with any question or student/family support need. He helps all to understand the importance of a child's attendance at school and can also be seen assisting teachers with SAFE paperwork, because he understands the importance of early intervention.”

Finalist: Billie Jackson, Head Custodian, 6th Grade Center – Her principal writes, “Ms. Billie is one who is always lending a helping hand, whether it is a student’s needs or a staff member’s needs. She never questions any opportunity she is presented with. She is all in no matter the circumstances. She carries a positive persona throughout her work ethic and her interactions with staff and students. She gives 100% all the time and is always willing to help in any way she can.” Ms. Jackson can’t join us today, but she is grateful for the opportunity to be considered as a finalist.

Finalist: Belinda Ritter-Scott, Family Support Liaison, Ingels Elementary – Her principal writes, “She works hard to ensure that school and community relationships are strong. She makes sure that not only do students achieve academically, but she makes sure that students have what they need to be successful socially and emotionally.”

Teacher Todd Barney2023 Claudette Scott District Teacher of the Year: Todd Barney, Project Lead the Way, Ruskin High School – Even as a young adult, Mr. Barney knew he wanted to have a positive influence on the next generation of kids. The shaping of young lives has given him continued joy over the years of his career. As a Project Lead the Way Teacher, Mr. Barney works with freshmen through seniors, offering everything from introduction to engineering to advanced manufacturing classes. He tailors lessons to fit students so they can show their abilities in the best possible way, and even help students gain a better understanding of core classes. Also, the Esports and Robotics team coach, Mr. Barney is always excited about students finding different ways to gain confidence while improving their critical thinking skills.

Finalist: Britney McCool, 6th Grade Science, 6th Grade Center – For Ms. McCool, teachers were an important part of her life growing up, encouraging and pushing her to be the best she could be. She wanted to have the same type of impact on her own students. It’s important for Ms. McCool to establish and maintain a comfortable, positive, accepting classroom environment. Students talk openly about what makes them unique, and even about their insecurities, and work to embrace the best parts of themselves. By being engaged, encouraging productive struggle, and taking on the challenges of learning, Ms. McCool’s students experience a feeling of accomplishment. No matter the lesson of the day, the goal is to ensure they are having fun with content that can apply to their own lives.

Finalist: Karen Boldridge, Fourth Grade, Ervin Elementary – Thanks to her first grade teacher, Mrs. Harper, Ms. Boldridge decided to become a teacher to make learning the same fun and enjoyable experience for her students. Her passion is helping students at a young age gain confidence in their ability to learn and achieve academic success. Over the years, Ms. Boldridge has sponsored several academic clubs, student council, has tutored students, participated in Saturday MAP Boot Camps, Math Relays, taught Summer School, and more. One of her favorite lessons is the Black History unit, where students are engaged on multiple levels, developing full projects including slides with voice overs. She’s most proud of all of her scholars who have gone on to be mentors, leaders, and strong members of the community.

This year, we introduced the first Hickman Mill’s Leader of the Year award.

Leader Heather HadleyHMC-1 Leader of the Year: Heather Hadley, Instructional Coach, Warford Elementary –This is Ms. Hadley’s first year as an instructional coach, but she has made an impact, receiving several nominations. One colleague wrote, “Ms. Hadley encourages teachers to do their best, and gives good feedback that is constructive, but at the same time, provides positive attitudes as well. Even from another school, Ms. Hadley continued to support our teacher through email and text. She even checks in with our students and participates in FaceTime Friday as an incentive for the students.”

Finalist: Dr. Chad Ryerson, Principal, 6th Grade Center – Dr. Ryerson served as the principal for the new 6th  Grade Center and will serve over sixth and seventh grades next school year. He received many nominations from his staff and one wrote, “Dr. Ryerson is a leader that lets you determine where you are, and who you are; he lets you be who you are because he actually believes in his staff. Ryerson demonstrates leadership skills in the building every day; he has an open-door policy for his staff and makes it comfortable to come talk to him whenever it is needed.” 

Finalist: Ryan Beatty, Principal, Burke Academy – Mr. Beatty serves as the principal at both Burke Academy and Crittenton Children’s Center. From his staff, he received numerous nominations and one wrote, “Mr. Beatty is a caring and effective leader. He works with students who have struggled, from high school credit recovery, to high school ISS, to middle school ISS, and real-world learning students from Ruskin. His calm but firm demeanor makes him the best leader in my 14 years of teaching.”