McMinnville resident Paula Morris received Kelly Educational Staffing’s Substitute Teacher of the Year Award for the state of Tennessee on Friday.
As a state winner, she will receive a $250 bonus.
Paula was subbing at Hickory Creek when local Kelly team members Audrey Morgan and Rosalyn Lawson surprised Paula in her classroom to present the award.
“Your nomination was based on performance and recommendations from personnel with the schools and district you serve,” said Lawson. “It is quality educators like you who make all the difference. The passion you bring to the classroom, and your contributions to student achievement, make us proud to have you as part of the Kelly Educational Staffing team.”
Mrs. Devona Clark’s second-graders loudly applauded and cheered for Paula, along with Hickory Creek principal Mike Mansfield and Warren County Director of Schools Bobby Cox.
One student, Ethan Bouldin, couldn’t contain his excitement for Mrs. Paula and sprung up to hug her immediately after she received her award. “I just love her as my substitute,” said Ethan. “She’s my favorite.”
When describing Paula, words like “reliable” and “dependable” were used by multiple teachers and staff at Hickory Creek. Librarian Lydia Taylor said Paula subs for her often and Paula deserves this award for her adaptability, personality, and for knowing the children.
“Subbing for me is different and difficult,” explained Taylor. “You have to work with multiple grade levels, know how to use our computer system to check books in and out, which can be over 100 books in a day. There have been times when I haven’t taken a day off if I couldn’t get Paula to sub. She’s that great. I’m very proud for her.”