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Butch Mosely recognizes three of the Dougherty County School System's best teachers

The three Game Ball winners for January were Tammy Holton at Westover High School, Jasmine Dixon at Albany Middle School and West Town Elementary’s Chassidy Vaughn.

West Town Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Chassidy Vaughn holds her Game Ball from Dougherty County School Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely, who presented three game balls Thursday in recognition of the school system’s best and brightest teachers. (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)

West Town Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Chassidy Vaughn holds her Game Ball from Dougherty County School Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely, who presented three game balls Thursday in recognition of the school system’s best and brightest teachers. (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)

ALBANY — The Dougherty County School System has unveiled a new teacher recognition program which focuses attention on the elements involved in successful classroom instruction. Three DCSS teachers were recognized with “Game Balls” on Thursday.

DCSS Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely said he realized the monumental task faced by classroom teachers and wanted to devise a way to show the system’s best teachers his appreciation for their hard work. Mosely, in addition to having served as superintendent for six school districts, is a former basketball coach with a reputation for developing players and teams.

Moseley explained that in basketball, when a player gives their all, leaves it all on the court, and contributes to a difficult team effort, when a player stands out in such a way — a basketball coach will award that special player the game ball.

Teachers are recognized at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The three Game Ball winners for January were Tammy Holton at Westover High School, Jasmine Dixon at Albany Middle School and West Town Elementary’s Chassidy Vaughn.

West Town was Mosely’s first stop Thursday morning, personally delivering Vaughn’s game ball. All the visits were unannounced.

“Oh my goodness, I am completely undone,” said Vaughn, a fifth-grade teacher, clasping her hands to her chest. “This is a total surprise and quite the honor.”

In her nomination packet, West Town Principal Lee Shiver said Vaughn consistently achieved success levels that transcend the most reasonable expectations. She received the most exemplary ratings given to any member of the faculty at her school on Teacher Keys Effectiveness System. Shiver said 100 percent of her students met or exceeded scores in CRCT Reading, English/Language Arts and Math. More than 95 percent met or exceeded in science and social studies. Her students’ Accelerated Reader tests are second highest in her school at 93 percent pass rate.

As grade-level chair, she has led her colleagues to the No. 2 ranking among all DCSS elementary schools on the Grade 5 Math Midyear Benchmark and No. 3 in Grade 5 Social Studies Benchmark.

Holton, a seventh grade Social Studies teacher, was cited for teaching one of the most challenging subjects in one of the most challenging grades, and delivering an increase in student pass rate on the CRCT of 15 percentage points across all her classes in 2013. She raised the benchmark testing a grade equivalent of 4.5 to 5.4 and had a Social Studies Benchmark Test improvement of 4 percent. Administrators say she demonstrates integrity and developed and implemented the “Student Mentor” program at Albany Middle School.

Holton, Westover High School’s new English teacher, earned a Game Ball as a Winner In The Classroom for her student’s performance. Although a veteran teacher, Ms. Holton began teaching American Literature and REP Reading last year, mid year. She has an extensive background in special populations and, according the Principal William Chunn, “is an asset to our RTI (Response To Intervention) team.”

She’s earned exemplary ratings on TKES evaluations and had 100 percent pass rate for the Georgia High School Writing Test. Her American Literature End Of Course tests had a meet or exceed rate of 95 percent.

The Game Ball Awards will be handed out monthly and are based on the recommendation of school principals and assistant principals.