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Lafayette High’s Gadd selected as 2019 Mississippi Teacher of the Year

For the second straight year, the state’s top educator resides in Lafayette County. During a ceremony at the Jackson Convention Complex on Friday, Hannah Gadd was selected as the 2019 Mississippi Teacher of the Year by the Mississippi Department of Education. Lafayette County School District’s Whitney Drewery is the reigning Mississippi Teacher of the Year.

Gadd, who is in her fourth year at Lafayette High School, teaches music appreciation to sixth through twelfth grade and is the choir director. She also teaches dual credit music appreciation in conjunction with Northwest Mississippi Community College.

“I was in shock. I think I’m still in shock,” Gadd said after winning. “I definitely got very emotional. It was a relief but it was also really exciting, especially thinking about how excited my students were going to be. It’s just such an honor represent all the fantastic teachers and students at Lafayette.”

She became eligible for the state’s top honor after being named the district’s Teacher of the Year in January. Earlier this month, Gadd was named a finalist for Mississippi’s highest honor for teachers.

There were four finalists vying for Friday’s award. Gadd, who represented Mississippi Congressional District 1, beat out Moorehead Central School’s Monique Cocroft (District 2), Northeast Lauderdale Elementary School’s Krilesha Boyd (District 3) and Pass Christian Middle School’s Charlene Stephens (District 4).

In the upcoming year, Gadd will share her expertise through various presentations and activities for the improvement of education as part of being named Teacher of the Year.

“I am very excited for Ms. Gadd and for our school district,” Lafayette County school superintendent Adam Pugh said in a statement to the EAGLE. “This is the second year in a row for our district to have the Mississippi Teacher of the Year. She is very deserving and does an outstanding job with our students. Our choir program is thriving under her leadership.”

Pugh, Lafayette High School principal Glenn Kitchens and members of Gadd’s family were in attendance at Friday’s ceremony.