Dale Tuck, an English teacher at Cedartown High, was one of 12 semifinalists narrowed from a list of 180 applicants for Georgia’s 2004 teacher of the year.
“I really never expected to get into the top - 12 because there are so many teachers,” she said. “I was surprised when I was Cedartown High’s teacher of the year and I was happy with that.”
Tuck, 53, said the best part about teaching has been the relationships with students in her 17 years at Cedartown High.
“I enjoy seeing them learn and taking them from point A to point B,” she said. “They’re all fun to teach and have different ways of connecting.”
She has taught a variety of classes from advanced placement to college prep.
The news that Tuck was named one of the top teachers in the state did not come as a shock to Principal John Toland.
“I’ve had the pleasure many years of working with several outstanding teachers and Mrs. Dale Tuck ranks with the best of them,” he said. “She’s loved by students and respected by fellow teachers. Her primary goal is to make a difference in the lives of the students that she teaches.”
Tuck earned a bachelor’s degree from Berry College and a master’s from Shorter College. She also has an educational specialist degree from the University of Alabama.
The English teacher and her husband, Phil, have two grown sons, Andy and Matt.
Each of Georgia’s 180 public school systems submitted one nominee for teacher of the year.
A panel of educators rated the applications and those with the highest scores were chosen as semifinalists.
Tuck is now preparing for a second panel’s review, which will include an interview, video tape submission and classroom observation.
The list will then be pared down to five finalists the first week of April. A final panel will select the teacher of the year, who will be announced at the state teacher of the year banquet later that month.
Even if she does not advance in the contest, Tuck said she is proud to have been selected as Cedartown High’s teacher of the year.
“The biggest compliment that I got was my fellow teachers voted for me. No matter what else happens I have that and that’s great.”