Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation is proud to share this year’s district winners of Teacher of the Year (TOY) Mrs. Lynette Huth, Science Teacher at Mt. Vernon High School, and and Staff of the Year (SOY) Mrs. Doris Johnson, Food Services Director! Both winners were recognized at the Mt. Vernon Education Foundation’s Black and Gold Gala earlier this month.
The Mt. Vernon Education Foundation (MVEF) hosted the TOY and SOY awards. The selection process started with the staff in each building nominating their colleagues. The top three nominated teachers and top three nominated staff members were then rated and by their peers based on the district values (dedication, teamwork, caring demeanor, student-centered, life-long learner, and innovation). The building winners then each submitted an application to the MVEF TOY/SOY committee. The committee used the Indiana Department of Education’s TOY scoring rubric to evaluate each building winner and determine the overall MVCSC TOY and SOY.
Both district winners receive a $2,500 stipend through the Ryan Fry Excellence in Education Award," thanks to the generosity of MVEF donors, Jill and Kevin Prefontaine. The cash award was created in honor of Jill’s brother Ryan. Both Ryan and Jill were MV graduates and their father Kenneth was a math teacher at Mt. Vernon for over 30 years. This award aligns itself and supports the MVEF Strategic Plan "in encouraging and recognizing excellence and ingenuity among our educators and staff.”
Mrs. Renee Oldham, Executive Director of the MVEF, shared, “With great respect for the many teachers and staff at Mt. Vernon, it is my honor to share that this process was quite competitive. It is my honor to present an award to the winners and recognize their commendable dedication to their profession and Mt. Vernon students.”
Lynette Huth has been teaching in the science department at Mt. Vernon High School (MVHS) since she earned her teaching degree from Western Governor’s University (WGU) in 2015. She loves being able to work with students every day, and her teaching method has evolved drastically over the past 6 years, “There was a time when I believed student engagement was the result of dynamic instruction, but I have come to realize that student engagement is the result of the relationship between me and my students.” Lynette’s passion for teaching and working with students is evident through every action she takes.
“If you stepped inside the walls of my classroom, you would see my students respond by working hard and striving to gain knowledge because it is natural to love learning when given the proper tools, and unlimited opportunities to try, fail, and succeed.” -Lynette Huth
Mr. Casey Dodd, Mt. Vernon High School Principal, shares, “I can honestly say that Lynette is an excellent candidate for Teacher of the Year because she is on the forefront of some of the changes taking place in education today and is helping to lead the way to make our teaching practices even more effective for our kids. For Lynette, it is never too late for her students to learn which is why she is a proponent for allowing redos and retakes of assignments and assessments within her classroom. This truly means that if a student does not show they have mastered something with the first assessment, she will work with that student to reteach the concept, make sure they understand it, and then reassess them. This means that she will even go and change that student’s grade since now they have demonstrated they know the material much better.”
Lynette also plans to apply for the 2022 Indiana Department of Education Teacher of the Year (INTOY), the winner of which will be announced in October of 2021.
Doris Johnson has been the Food Service Director at Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation for 25 years, dedicating her time to serving all students and staff of the district. Her commitment and countless hours to provide nutritious meals so students can perform at their highest level is nothing short of amazing. She shares, “I would say my biggest accomplishment at Mt. Vernon was this past year with the pandemic. Dealing with a major food shortage/out of stock food, food insecurity, and the USDA’s constant change of meal waivers was a challenge. Coming up with meals to meet state requirements and not knowing how many meals would be served each week was more than stressful, but we did it!”
When chillers break or events need food service, Doris will work on the weekend or early before school to meet everyone’s needs. Her countless hours behind the scenes prove her dedication to Mt. Vernon students. Mr. Chris Smedley, Assistant Superintendent, says, “Doris has always done an outstanding job leading her food service staff throughout the district to ensure that they have the support they need to serve our students and staff at a highly effective level. As a result of collective efforts, from late March through late June of 2020, Doris and the food service staff at Mt. Vernon provided 93,289 student meals for our students across the district.”
Doris started a food rescue program at MV to help with food waste and aid our local food pantries. She is responsible for menus, the nutritional counts for each meal served, meeting the many requirements of federal programs, staying within budgets, hiring staff, and much more. During the pandemic, Doris's team remained flexible and altered their schedules and food safety protocol to adhere to the new guidelines. They dealt with providing student meals during food shortages while not knowing how many meals would be picked up. When Mt. Vernon was fully virtual last spring due to the pandemic, her team served 93,289 meals from March through June. Her countless hours behind the scenes prove her dedication to the health and wellbeing of Mt. Vernon students.
The Food Service Department was recently one of 44 districts to receive a “Golden Delicious Apple Award” from the Indiana Department of Education. The department’s extraordinary efforts to provide nutritional meals for our students through the pandemic led them to receive this award.
Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation congratulates both ladies for their hard work and perseverance, and is proud to employ so many wonderful staff members.
Congratulations to the building TOY/SOY winners as well!
TOY: Delinda Deckard, FES; Beth Chaplin, MES; Brianne Williams, MCE; Kittie Masters, MVMS; Leeanna Seppala, MMP/Admin
SOY: Nancy Price, FES; Jenny Campbell, MES; Melissa Montague, MCE; Lisa Lindman, MVMS; Joana Goff, MVHS