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Second Hawkins teacher this season a 'Titans Teacher of the Week'

Second Hawkins teacher this season a 'Titans Teacher of the Week'

By JEFF BOBO
jbobo@timesnews.net

LAURA HAMMONDS

CHURCH HILL — Laura Hammonds hopes to be remembered fondly by her students the same way her mother and grandmother are still remembered by students.

She may have already achieved that goal, based on the more than 40 nominations she received from parents and past students for the Tennessee Titans Teacher of the Week award.

The Carters Valley Elementary School first-grade teacher was notified Wednesday that she has been named the “Titans Teacher of the Week” for week six of the 2014 season.

The program, open to every teacher in Tennessee, is sponsored by the American Paper & Twine Co., Titans Radio, and Georgia-Pacific Communication Papers.

Hawkins County already has two Tennessee Titans Teacher of the Week award winners in 2014, which is more wins than the 1-4 Titans have achieved at this point in the NFL season.

Mount Carmel Elementary School second-grade teacher Amanda Short was Titans Teacher of the Week in week one.

CVES principal Lisa Manis said Hammonds, who has taught at the school for 13 years, always goes above and beyond the call of duty for students.

“She is excellent with the kids, and she is truly a ‘Level 5’ teacher, as we call it,” Manis said. “Her scores are always exceptional. She just goes above and beyond for students, for parents, for everybody.”

During her 13 years at CVES, Hammonds has taught fifth grade, fourth grade, kindergarten, and she is now in her second year as a first-grade teacher.

Former student Acacia Jones, who now has a child attending Hammonds’ class, was among the more than 40 people who sent in letters nominating Hammonds for Titans Teacher of the Week.

“She has been an inspiration to me, not only when I had her for a coach in softball, but also now as she teaches my son,” Jones said. “My son loves having her as his teacher. She does a great job with the kids she teaches. She wants her kids to do well. She deserves to be teacher of the week.”

Alisha Saxton, another parent who has a child in Hammonds’ class, stated in her letter that Hammonds is an “amazing woman,” both inside and outside of school.

“She is very compassionate to every person she meets and treats the students as her own children,” Saxton said. “They are not just a test grade or a number to her. She puts so much effort into making them better individuals by the time they leave her class. She is truly loved by each student that knows her.”

CVES parent Amanda Hinkernell said Hammonds makes sure to show her students how important they are.

“I volunteer in her classroom and am amazed at her interaction with the children,” Hinkernell said. “She goes the extra mile to magnify each student’s strengths and to build up their weaknesses through challenges and center groups. Her patience, even with the higher energy children in her class, is exemplary.”

As Titans Teacher of the Week Hammonds will receive a $400 gift basket full of supplies for her classroom and two tickets to see a Tennessee Titans home game.

She is now also a finalist for the Titans Teacher of the Year who will receive a gift basket of school supplies worth about $800, and tickets to the Dec. 28 game versus the Indianapolis Colts.

Hammonds said Wednesday that having two Titans Teachers of the Week is exciting for Hawkins County, and something that the entire county can celebrate.

Teaching is a family tradition for Hammonds. Her grandmother Sue Smith taught in Scott County, Va.; her mother Cathy Feagins taught in Scott and Hawkins counties; and now Hammonds and her two sisters are teachers.

Hammonds grew up in a teaching atmosphere, and in her opinion, she learned from the best.

“My mother was one of the best teachers I ever knew,” Hammonds said.

School Supplies

It is the policy of the Hawkins County School System not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its educational programs or employment policies as required by Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title IX (1972 Educational Amendments), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.