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Jacqueline Shirley named LCSD Teacher of the Year

In what can only be described as the strangest year for teachers and educators, the Lafayette County School District honored a select few for their efforts on Monday.

During their December Board of Trustees meeting, LCSD honored their five 2020-21 Teachers of the Year and named the district’s Teacher and Administrator of the Year.

Lafayette Middle School math teacher Jacqueline Shirley was named the LCSD Teacher of the Year, as well as the LMS Teacher of the Year.

“(Shirley) does an outstanding job in the classroom,” said Lafayette school superintendent Dr. Adam Pugh. “Her test scores since she’s been with us have proved it. She just does a phenomenal job.”

Shirley is eligible for the 2021 Mississippi Teacher of the Year award, which will be announced by the Mississippi Department of Education next Spring. Lafayette has had two of the last three statewide Teacher of the Year recipients.

Representing Lafayette Elementary School as its Teacher of the Year is Maggie “Betsy” Brown, a Pre-Kindergarten instructor. Lafayette Upper Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year is Joanna Bolger, an English and Language Arts teacher. Lafayette High School’s Teacher of the Year is Thomas Grosskopf, a Visual Arts teacher.

Lafayette’s Teacher of the Year at the The Tech is Sandi Allen, who teaches Health Science.

Since March, educators across the country have shifted and transitioned their methods of teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only five were honored on Monday, but Pugh is proud of his entire staff at LCSD.

“What they’re doing this year to try and figure this pandemic out and just trying to keep the kids on track, I’m just so proud of every one of them and what they’ve done and just the outstanding work that they do,” Pugh said. “We have a great group of teachers, but this year every one of them needs to be district Teacher of the Year for what they’ve done.”

Lafayette Middle School principal Chad Chism is this year’s LCSD Administrator of the Year.