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Forest Hills teachers, students celebrated for excellence

March 30, 2016

Two Forest Hills teachers and one student were honored with prestigious awards for their commitment to personal and academic achievement. The Hamilton County Education Foundation honored Chad Weddle, a theatre arts teacher at Nagel Middle School and Anderson High School, with the Celebrate Excellence Educator Award, while the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce honored Tracy Moran, Summit Elementary third-grade teacher, and Kyle DeBry, Anderson High School senior, with the Teacher of the Year award and Student of the Year award, respectively.

Rob Fellows, Anderson High School principal, and Tonya Herron, Anderson math teacher, nominated DeBry saying, “Through hard work and determination, Kyle has reached the highest levels of success while taking Anderson High School’s most advanced courses including seven honors classes and 14 Advanced Placement courses.  He finds unique ways to merge his creative and computer science talents. Kyle is the whole package.”

A National AP Scholar, DeBry is also a National Merit Finalist, an achievement only one percent of the country’s students achieve, and one of the few students in the nation to earn a perfect ACT score.  He also serves as President of the Chapter of the National Honor Society, mentors freshmen students, plays the saxophone in the wind ensemble, is drum major for the marching band and was part of the technical crew for the winter theatre production.

Kenny Xu and DaLisa McCallum, both Anderson seniors, and Whitney Gazar and Brad Herndon, both Turpin seniors, were also nominated for the Chamber’s Student of the Year award.

Rosietha Wilhelm, Summit teacher, nominated Tracy Moran for the Chamber’s Teacher of the Year award saying, “Tracy is an experienced teacher who is mindful of the whole child -- focusing on a student’s health, academic learning and positive self-image. She continually researches and implements best practices and shares her knowledge with her colleagues. With a passion for shaping students’ mathematical understanding, Tracy has been instrumental in the articulation of Forest Hills’ math curriculum, re-imagines optimal learning environments and actively incorporates technology in her teachings to enhance student learning.”

Jamie Meyers-Maraan, a parent of a student, nominated Chad Weddle for the Hamilton County Education Foundation Celebrate Excellence award saying, “Mr. Weddle exposes all students to the world of theatre and encourages them to express themselves through performing arts. He has dedicated thousands of hours to student learning through theatre experiences and he helps students balance academics with extracurriculars.  Mr. Weddle is a stellar role model who is full of creativity, energy, wisdom, patience and dedication and he helps students develop their creativity, self-esteem and team work skills.”

Eleven additional Forest Hills educators were nominated for these awards.  They are Cindy Gajus, Turpin High School intervention specialist; Terrie Meister, Mercer Elementary kindergarten teacher; Jenna Miller, Ayer Elementary fourth-grade teacher; Ann Wolfe, Mercer health aide; Tori Casteel, Maddux Elementary fifth-grade teacher; Debra Smith, Maddux gifted teacher; Bridget Murphy, Ayer first-grade teacher; Jean Bode, Wilson Elementary school counselor; Robert Hoon, Anderson intervention specialist; Amy Feldkamp, Ayer first-grade teacher; Susan Vincent, Ayer reading specialist; and Douglas Davis, Wilson fifth-grade teacher.

“Forest Hills is lucky to have some of the best and brightest educators among its staff members,” stated Scot T. Prebles, superintendent.  “They work tirelessly to engage and empower students with quality educational experiences to excel in their future. I am proud to work with all of them and congratulate all of the district’s student and staff honorees.”