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Mashburn honored as Teacher of the Year

On Saturday, Feb. 18, the late Dr. Robert W. Frazier, then principal of Farragut Intermediate School, quietly signed a letter nominating Cheryl Lyn Mashburn, one of his school’s veteran teachers, for Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year honors for 2006.

That school lost Dr. Frazer, its beloved principal, Tuesday, April 11, while he was in his 40th year as an educator.

Mashburn, a third-grade teacher at FIS, was surprised and pleased Tuesday, May 9, to learn during a school assembly that Frazier’s nomination had been accepted.

Frazier’s letter of glowing praise had led Marc Huffaker, Wal-Mart’s Turkey Creek store manager, and Denise Stooksbury of Wal-Mart to join assistant principal Kay Wellons in presenting the 2006 award.

The award included the framed letter of nomination, signed by Frazier, who had been in his 33rd year as FIS principal at the time of his death.

The award also included a $1,000 Wal-Mart check, payable to the school, and a $100 Wal-Mart gift card Mashburn may use to purchase necessary items for her classroom.

In response, Mashburn, with her pupils, teaching colleagues and proud husband, Dan Mashburn, looking on, told the assembly:

“I love what I do, and I do it from the heart. I accept this award on behalf of dedicated teachers everywhere.”

As her pupils applauded their teacher, she was also given a bouquet of yellow roses, a celebratory cake and a blue T-shirt proclaiming her the store’s Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year winner.

Huffaker said Mashburn’s award makes her eligible to compete with other Tennessee teachers receiving similar community awards, for state Teacher of the Year honors and a $10,000 prize for their schools. One such Tennessee teacher will compete for a $50,000 Wal-Mart 2006 National Teacher of the Year award.

Wellons said Mashburn’s contributions to FIS went well beyond her classroom repsonsibilities. She served on the school assessment team, directed the Farragut After-School Committee work and served on the school’s Technology Committee.

Wellons said Mashburn was a consummate professional teacher whose “ultimate respect earned from colleagues and peers” brought her 2002 Teacher of the Year honors.

Wellons said Wal-Mart had notified Dr. Frazier of Mashburn’s pending honor March 11, but the award had been kept a school secret since then.

Frazier’s nomination letter had commended Mashburn for two decades of classroom teaching service, plus her tireless work on a FIS school improvement plan. The letter also praised Mashburn for “the way she contributes to the teaching profession, during her decade as FIS third-grade lead teacher,” including her 15-year service to the school’s after-school care program.

Frazier’s letter said Mashburn had contributed to several local and state committees for the teaching profession, had served as FIS liaison to the Knox County Teacher Center for five years, had chaired the Southern Association of College and Schools Review Team and had been named 21st Century Classroom teacher in 1997. Her efforts, Frazier wrote, “constantly demonstrate her excellence in the classroom.”

As part of the award ceremony, Wellons read a poem by Edgar A. Guest, and FIS pupils sang several songs.

including “Each of Us is a Flower.”


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