Teachers of the Year announced

The Marion School District is honoring its top performers with the announcement of its 2020-21 Teachers of the Year. Through votes of school staffs, one Teacher of the Year was selected from each school in the district, with one honoree being selected as the overall district winner.

This year’s Marion School District Teacher of the Year is Courtney Shumock, a visual arts teacher at Marion Visual & Performing Arts Magnet.

Other honorees and their respective schools are Christie George for Herbert Carter Global Community Magnet, Shelby Langley for Marion High School, Jenni Martin for Marion Junior High, and Federick Miller for Marion Math, Science & Technology Magnet. 

District & VPA honoree: Courtney Shumock

Shumock has been a teacher for six years, with the last three spent at VPA.

According to Betsy Laughter, VPA principal, Shumock is a teacher who regularly “sets the stage for success” with her positive attitude and dedication to students. She leads the school art club, hosts regular art shows, and is responsible for the murals throughout the school campus. This spring, she and her students created the VPA Garden – an outdoor learning space filled with student artwork and unique landscaping.

“Courtney is always kind, poised, and fair,” Laughter said. “She involves the students in all art projects and is truly dedicated to the mission of our school. She is a team player and is always willing to go the extra mile to help our campus flourish.”

Originally from Cherokee Village, Shumock said one of her favorite things about teaching at VPA is being part of a strong team.

“My favorite thing about my school is how supportive our teachers are of one another,” Shumock said. “We value the arts and believe that our students can reach their full potential when they learn what discipline and dedication looks like. Almost every employee in our building is more than happy to help out a fellow teacher or go the extra mile for one of our events or programs. We all love our students and want the best for them, and I am very fortunate to work amongst some of my closest friends.”

HCGC honoree: Christie George

George is a fourth-grade English teacher. A native of Marion, she has been teaching for 23 years, with the last three at HCGC.

“My favorite things about teaching at HCGC are our school culture and the amazing administrators, colleagues, and students I work with every day,” George said. “They are family and inspire me daily to be better. My greatest accomplishments as a teacher are without a doubt, my students! I love when I see a student from 20 years, or even one year ago, and have them tell me how much they loved and learned being in my class.”

MHS honoree: Shelby Langley

Langley is in her second year at MHS, and her 17th with the district. She teachers special education, as well as a class called “Transition.” Originally from Paragould, she has lived most of her life in West Memphis.

“One of my favorite things about teaching at my school is that I have the opportunity to change students’ lives,” Langley said. “I am able to teach them how to advocate for themselves and learn job skills through internships within the community. This prepares our students for post-secondary life. I am excited to continue this  journey of transforming lives and creating a stronger community.”

MJHS honoree: Jenni Martin

Martin teaches eighth-grade science at MJHS. A Marion native, she has been teaching for 10 years, with the last three at MJHS.

“My favorite thing about teaching at MJHS is the students I teach and my wonderful coworkers,” Martin said. “I love getting to build relationships with all of my kids and watch them grow throughout the year. I say ‘kids.’ not ‘students,’ because I love all of them as if they were my own. I push my students to do their very best while letting them know it is OK to make a mistake, and that hard work pays off.

MST honoree: Frederick Miller

Miller is a fifth-grade math teacher at MST. Originally from Memphis, he has been with Marion for two years.

“My favorite thing about teaching at MST is that I get to work with an awesome team of educators and students,” Miller said. “They inspire me daily to give it my all and to continue to grow professionally. The thing I am most proud of is the relationships built with my students. Every day is not easy, but it's my goal to affirm them that they are great, and there are no limits to how far they can go.”

Dr. Glen Fenter, Marion superintendent, said he is proud of all of this year’s honorees.

“It is truly an honor to be able to work with educators of the caliber of this year’s Teachers of the Year,” Fenter said. “That these teachers have been able to achieve what they have during what has been such a challenging year is truly a testament to their skill and dedication. I salute them all, just as I salute all of our teachers who have persevered through this unprecedented school year.”

With a growing enrollment of nearly 3,900 students, the Marion School District is committed to helping students develop the academic, social, and decision-making skills needed to become productive citizens in the rapidly changing technological world. For enrollment information, including information on school choice, visit https://www.msd3.org/ or call 870-739-5100.