Chamber honors county’s top educators of the year

Published 9:27 am Thursday, February 16, 2017

Twenty-one of the best teachers in Vicksburg and Warren County were honored Wednesday by the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce at its monthly luncheon.

Of those 21, two emerged as the best of the best — Kristy Brumfield, an elementary school music teacher at Porters Chapel Academy, and Sylvia Lamb, who teaches biomedical science to high school students at the Vicksburg Warren School District’s Career and Technical Education Center.

In addition to earning the chamber’s coveted teacher of the year award, each received a $1,000 check, donated by Ameristar Casino and Hotel.

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“I’m shocked!” Brumfield said, holding a giant-sized check. “It’s nice to be appreciated.”

Brumfield was honored as the elementary school teacher of the year.

In an earlier interview, Brumfield told The Vicksburg Post, “I teach because the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”

Brumfield said music nurtures creativity and self-expression, as well as teaches the benefits of collaboration, dedication and perseverance. She said music builds a sense of accomplishment, confidence and community.

“Because of the great benefits of the study of music, students become better thinkers, creators and global citizens,” Brumfield told The Vicksburg Post.

Lamb, the secondary education teacher of the year, said she as elated.

“This was a complete surprise,” she said.

Lamb, who has taught for 25 years, said biomedical science classes she teaches are “groundbreaking.”

She teaches Vicksburg and Warren County High School students at the district’s Career and Technical Education Center, which is located at Hinds Community College. The course she teaches is offered through Project Lead the Way, a nonprofit organization that creates STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — curricula.

The Vicksburg Warren School District program is one of only three such in the state.

“We were laughing a while ago because we’re going to a conference next week and we’ll probably only have six teachers there,” she joked.

“I teach because I love seeing my students’ faces light up in wonder,” Lamb told The Vicksburg Post.

A panel of judges, all who were teachers themselves, selected the two teachers of the year. Judges included Debbie Smith Freeman, Charlie Tolliver, Judy Williams, Barbara Burns, Diane Liddell, Carole Campbell and Julie Tillotson.