Top teachers: educators of the year named at banquet

Published 10:24 pm Thursday, February 22, 2024

After months of anticipation, this year’s Educator of the Year awards were announced Wednesday during a special banquet at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

Sponsored by the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, a total of 21 area elementary and secondary teachers were nominated for the coveted title of Educator of the Year. This year’s two educator of the year award winners received $1,000 each courtesy of Ameristar Casino, while each runner-up received $500 from Mutual Credit Union.

This year’s winners are: Elementary Educator of the Year – Amber Temple of Bovina Elementary School; Secondary Educator of the Year – Pam Wilbanks of Porter’s Chapel Academy; elementary runner-up is Heather Kealhhofer of Vicksburg Intermediate School; and secondary runner-up is Marigaye Cooper of the Academy of Innovation.

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“We want to take the time every year to recognize the huge contributions of our teachers,” Chamber of Commerce Executive
Director Pablo Diaz said during his public remarks. “They do an amazing job day-in and day-out. They face a number of different challenges and those challenges seem to change every year. They are working and making a difference and shaping the future of our community and shaping the future of our country.”

Diaz said recognizing winners of the Educator of the Year award is a wonderful way to annually express thanks for the job teachers do, adding it is also a small gesture when compared to the difference they make in the world through education.

“There isn’t enough we could do to thank them for the services they provide,” he said.