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Marion announces Teachers of the Year

Recipients selected by peers for honor


Recipients selected by peers for honor


MSD Communications

The Marion School District is honoring some of its highest achievers with the announcement of its 202324 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 Doris Mason an English teacher at the Marion 7th Grade Academy. Thompson is also Teacher of the Year for 7GA.

Other honorees and their respective schools are Elaine Dupree for Marion Junior High School, Brianna Frazier for Marion Visual & Performing Arts Magnet, Tammy Phillips for Marion Math, Science & Technology Magnet, Patricia Rebick for Marion High School, and Nikida Whitlock for Herbert Carter Global Community Magnet.

Dr. Glen Fenter, Marion superintendent, had high praise for this year’s honorees.

“The team of educators we have here at the Marion School District is truly incredible, and these six individuals are among the best,” Fenter said. “I am continually honored to be able to work with teachers who bring such an amazing level of dedication and talent to their profession. I congratulate each of this year’s honorees for this well-deserved honor.”

Doris Mason

Marion School District Teacher of the Year 7GA Teacher of the Year

For Mason, who has been in education for 35 years, being a teacher is about more than teaching English.

“My role far exceeds the confinement of a classroom,” Mason said. “It reaches the hearts, minds, and souls of young people who simply want the teacher to listen to them, talk to them, and build a student-teacher relationship that encourages and motivates them to achieve and excel. My favorite thing is when students come to me with smiles on their faces telling me, ‘You see, Mrs. Mason, I told you I was going to do it. I did it! Thanks!’ Words such as these coming from students are rewarding because that’s a true validation of effective instruction, inspiration, and guidance beyond the classroom.”

As a teacher, Mason said she is most proud that she has had the opportunity to touch so many lives in education in and outside the classroom. She said many students have returned to tell her that they loved her, even though she was a strict teacher. She said those are the kind of accomplishments she holds close to her heart because it shows she helped somebody along the way. She said she is also proud of her work with students for Black History Month programs, sharing the history, talent, and accomplishments made by those whose shoulders we stand on today.

When she learned she had been named Teacher of the Year, she said she was elated right along with her students.

“It feels great!” she said. “Knowing that your peers view something in you that they admire and appreciate is a blessing! It also showed me that God’s favor was upon me. My peers are absolutely the best!”

Elaine Dupree

MJHS Teacher of the Year

Dupree teaches honors geometry at MJHS. This is her 13th year at the school. She said the Teacher of the Year honor was not something she saw coming.

“I feel humbled that (the MJHS staff) voted me teacher of the year,” she said. “I did not expect it.”

She said her favorite parts of teaching are the relationships she has been able to build with teachers and students, as well as the growth she has seen in her students, not only in her classroom, but in life beyond school.

“My favorite thing about teaching at MJHS is my relationships with the math teachers and other faculty,” Dupree said. “I also love my room and the relationships I build with the students. I am most proud of seeing my former students graduate and succeed in adulthood. I adore seeing them in the community and they reminisce about the time spent in my classroom.”

Brianna Frazier

VPA Teacher of the Year

Frazier is a self-contained special education teacher at VPA. In this role, she teaches all subjects in grades kindergarten through sixth.

She said she is most proud of giving her students the support they need to be successful.

“I’ve worked hard at providing consistent support to my students, keeping them involved in school events, and helping them overcome personal fears and battles,” Frazier said. “It brings me joy when I’m able to help my students do things they thought they couldn’t do.”

She noted that the Teacher of the Year recognition has been gratifying.

“It is truly an honor to be selected as Teacher of the Year,” she said. “It feels good to know that everything that I do for my students and parents has not gone unnoticed. I love that I’m able to make a huge impact on my students here and I get to watch them grow and improve in their behavior and academics.”

Tammy Phillips

MST Teacher of the Year

A 21-year veteran of teaching, Phillips teaches English and Social Studies at MST.

Like others, Phillips says her favorite part about teaching is the relationships she makes with students and colleagues.

“My favorite part of teaching at my school is by far my co-workers and my students,” she said. “There is no other better place to be than MST! This is my home away from home, and each person is truly a blessing to me. As a teacher, I am most proud of the connections I am able to make with my students and their families and watching my students grow in every way each year.”

Phillips also spoke about the impact of being named MST’s Teacher of the Year.

“I feel extremely honored and very humbled considering I know there are so many deserving of this award,” she said. “It means the world to me that my colleagues have chosen me this year!”

Patricia Rebick

MHS Teacher of the Year

Rebick teaches AP European history, AP psychology, sociology, and psychology. She began her teaching career 15 years ago at MHS.

She said her favorite thing about teaching at MHS is, hands down, her students.

“They are the reason I come back day after day,” Rebick said. “I genuinely enjoy hearing their unique perspectives on topics, and I think this is something that they are not used to. It helps to build a rapport with them and give mutual respect. Once they know that you respect them and are willing to empathize with them as teenagers, it is a game-changer. Watching them grow and mature into young adults who then go on to accomplish great things brings me so much joy.”

She said she is also proud of the number of her students who have been inspired by psychology and go on to get degrees in the field. She said she has had around 40 former students graduate with undergrad degrees in psychology, with many going on to receive their master’s doctoral degrees.

“Knowing that I played a tiny role in helping them help others is the best feeling in the world,” she said.

Nikida Whitlock

HCGC Teacher of the Year

A 22-year veteran of teaching, Whitlock is in her first full year at Marion, where she teaches first grade.

She said she loves the environment at her school.

“I absolutely love working at HCGC,” Whitlock said. “The students, the parents, the administration, my co-workers are all phenomenal! God could not have placed me at a better school. We are truly a family! The teamwork and support from the administration and parents make my job easier.”

But she said it’s her students that give her the most gratification.

“I am so proud of my students,” she said. “They have moved leaps and bounds this school year. I have students who could not spell their name – now they can, along with identifying letters and sounds. I have students who were not reading, and now they are. Each time they tested, from the beginning to the middle of the year, each and every student exhibited gains in reading and math.”

“On a personal level, I am so proud of myself,” she continued. “I was diagnosed with a visual impairment at the age of 19 and it gets hard. I often come to work on weekends to catch up on paperwork, because what may be easy to some, is 10 times harder for me. I am so thankful for my first-grade team, Mrs. Cole, and Mr. Hodges, who made sure I had everything I needed to succeed as an educator, and I am very thankful!”

About Marion Schools

The Marion School District is an innovative and growing district committed to helping every student find their unique path to success in school and in life. With more than 150 years of experience serving families in Crittenden County, the district offers a high school, a junior high, a seventh grade school, and three award-winning magnet schools. For enrollment information, including information on school choice, visit https://www. or call 870-7395100.







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