2006 Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year Award winner Marilyn Adamson holds the $1,000 presentation check surrounded by students from her second-grade class at Jackson Township Elementary.
Jackson Township Elementary second-grade teacher Marilyn Adamson can add winning the 2006 Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year Award on May 10 to her collection of memorable moments from this past school year.
"The Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year Award completely surprised me," Adamson said.
Its the second award for teaching excellence won by Adamson within the last month.
"I'm overwhelmed," she said.
On May 3 she was notified about winning the 2006 WTHI-TV 10 Golden Apple Award. It wasn't a complete a surprise because WTHI-TV 10 called to interview with finalists, but the award from Wal-Mart came out of the blue.
Each of her students are valuable and precious to her, Adamson said, so it doesn't really matter who nominated her for the award. In her heart, they all did.
"I love to teach. Teaching is my calling, not my job," she said.
Adamson has wanted to be a teacher since she was in elementary school.
"Floy Brown, my first-grade teacher, Nelle Gettle, my third-, fourth- and fifth-grade teacher, and my high school English teacher, Delilah Brown, were always the teachers that I wanted to be most like. They made their students feel comfortable and valuable in their classes. Their smiles were always reassuring," she said about her role models. "This is all I have ever wanted to do. I teach my students as I would want my own child to be taught and treated."
Wal-Mart awarded $1,000 to Jackson Township Elementary, which will be used to benefit all the students at the school.
Adamson is now eligible to compete at the state level for the 2006 Wal-Mart State Teacher of the Year Award. If she wins, the school could receive an additional $10,000 and move on to national competition. Teachers who win at the national competition receive a $25,000 grant for their school.
Its an exciting future possibility for Adamson, but she worries more about the educational future of her students.
Believing the future of education rests in the hands of parents and educators, Adamson believes they should work together for the best interest of students.
"I strongly believe the character education programs now being taught in many schools daily will have a huge impact on our students' education, their choices about friends and careers and other life-long decisions. Of course, the home is the foundation of a child's life. When children enter school, it is a partnership between the parents and the school to provide the best education possible for the children," she said. "Working here at Jackson Township Elementary is such joy. Without the wonderful support staff here at Jackson Township Elementary, I wouldn't be able to do my job."