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Granstaff crowned county’s top teacher

Xavier Smith • Apr 7, 2017 at 9:26 PM

Southside Elementary physical education teacher Melissa Granstaff became Wilson County’s 19th Teacher of the Year on Friday at Cumberland University and received recognition for her selfless spirit.

Cumberland University president Paul Stumb congratulated all Wilson County teachers who received the distinction at their respective schools and the group represented the best of the best in Wilson County.

“All of us here, but you teachers here in particular, have a chance to make a real difference every single day in the lives of these students – each with their own stories – if you put their needs ahead of your own, which I know you do or else you wouldn’t be here,” Stumb said.

 

In the end, Granstaff emerged as the county’s elite educator for the year, joining Wilson County educators’ prestigious club. 

“I strive to build positive relationships with my students by learning their interests, embracing their individuality and treating them with respect. I am so fortunate to do what I love and love what I’m doing,” Granstaff said in her submission letter.

Southside Elementary principal Frank Tittle, a colleague and parent also shed light on Granstaff’s deservingness of the award.

“This teacher is nothing short of excellent and is most deserving of the honor bestowed upon her by our faculty,” said Tittle, who said she should be in high consideration for the state teacher of the year.

“When there is a need, this teacher is the first to volunteer. Those who know [Granstaff] understand the level of commitment that she has to the students in Wilson County. Those who don’t just need to ask any student or adult here in our school to get a glimpse,” a colleague wrote of Granstaff.

“Every since my daughter has been in [Granstaff’s class] her confidence has soared. She is the most selfless person I’ve ever met. She’s always willing to help in any way possible – both in the school and the community. I know Wilson County has some excellent educators, but I don’t think you’ll find one as dedicated, humble, caring and hardworking as this teacher,” a parent wrote of Granstaff.

The Cumberland and Tennessee Tech graduate has spent 22 years in education and is active in numerous community organizations.

Those selected from across the county as “teachers of the year” in their respective school are Tabitha Bird with Byars-Dowdy Elementary School, Jennifer Barrett Jenkins with Carroll-Oakland Elementary School, Heather Campbell with Castle Heights Elementary School, Kristi Brooks with Cedars Preparatory Academy, Sandra L. Edwards with Coles Ferry Elementary School, Sheila Kay Mobley with Elzie D. Patton Elementary School, Toni Ross with Friendship Christian School, Melanie Williams with Gladeville Elementary School, Megan Hamilton with Lakeview Elementary School, Frankie Beth Dunklin with Lebanon High School, Jennifer M. Beavers with MAP Academy, Jon Willis with Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, Emily Partin with Mt. Juliet Elementary School, Amy Bowman with Mt. Juliet High School, Courtney Quisberg with Mt. Juliet Middle School, Lori Boykin with Rutland Elementary School, Stephanie Smith with Sam Houston Elementary School, Jessica Moses with Stoner Creek Elementary School, Carly M. Clinard with Tuckers Crossroads School, Rachel Walton with W.A. Wright Elementary School, Chuck Graviss with Walter J. Baird Middle School, Geoff Luckett with Watertown Elementary School, Matthew Hallmark with Watertown High School, Sara Warner with Watertown Middle School, Karissa Rogers with West Elementary School, Keith Heim with West Wilson Middle School, Kristi R. Dragan with Wilson Central High School, Patti Huffman with Wilson County Adult High School and Blake Lewis with Winfree Bryant Middle School.

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