Four local teachers honored for their ‘Excellence in Education’ | News

Four area teachers were recognized Tuesday at The Register-Herald and Mountaineer Automotive’s first-ever “Excellence in Education” banquet for their contributions to their students. 

Students in grades K-5 in The Register-Herald coverage area submitted nominations for their favorite teacher, and a committee selected four teachers to recognize for their outstanding teaching skills.

Dr. Tammy Donahue of Maxwell Hill Elementary received the top recognition. Juanita Johnson, of Bradley Elementary; Christy Delp, of Mabscott Elementary; and Melissa Bailey, of Berlin McKinney Elementary, were recognized as the three runners-up.

When Donahue’s name was announced, she walked forward to collect her award, sporting a bright pink dress. She had tears in her eyes. 

“I feel like I’m going to cry,” she said, laughing, as she faced the crowd of teachers. “I just wanted to say, I absolutely love what I do. These kids fill me with happiness.

“I’ve never been happier with my career than I am at Maxwell Hill. I love the people I work with — the parents, teachers, the principal and the students.” 

The four winning teachers received appreciation baskets filled with goodies from local businesses, and smaller gifts were given to each teacher who attended. 

Attendees at the banquet enjoyed dinner cooked by chefs at the Historic Black Knight Country Club, and shared laughs as the nominee letters from students were read aloud. 

Lisa Stadelman, advertising sales manager at The Register-Herald, said the department was excited to have the opportunity to honor local teachers.

“We appreciate the important role they play in the lives of our children, and the impact they have,” Stadelman said.

“Their dedication and hard work makes a difference to so many, and we want them to know that The Register-Herald and Mountaineer Automotive appreciates all they do. We are looking forward to making this an annual event.”

Mountaineer Automotive’s marketing director, Jennifer Farley, told The Register-Herald the owners of Mountaineer Automotive — Donnie Holcomb and Keith Tyler — along with Jimmy Hensley, the general manager, have something in common when it comes to management and serving the community.

“They want to use the business as a vessel to give back to the community. So not only do we see taking care of our customers as a priority, but we also want to serve the people in the community and give back in any way we can,” Farley said. “Education is a vital part of our future, so we really believe in contributing to anything that can recognize the teachers that help our kids become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Donnie Holcomb, who was present at Tuesday evening’s event, joked with teachers about how difficult it was to get in front of them and speak, but assured them they were valued. 

“The teachers I had as a kid are very valued people,” Holcomb said. “There was something each of them did that touched me in one way or another. 

“Hopefully the kids you teach every day will grow to become fantastic citizens, and help the area in which we live continue to grow. You have helped develop our most valued resource, and that’s our children.”  

— Email:; follow on Twitter @jnelsonRH 

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