Rack Room Shoes has announced the winners of the 2019 Real Teacher of the Year contest. The national competition (out of 175 nominations and more than 15,000 votes) called for customers to nominate teachers who have made a positive impact in their lives and the lives of their children.
The five winning teachers will each receive a $10,000 grant for technology upgrades for their school. In addition, each winning teacher will receive free shoes for a year from Rack Room Shoes and a special check presentation will be held at each of the winning schools in December.
“Rack Room Shoes maintains a special commitment to giving back to the communities we serve,” says Mark Lardie, president and CEO . “It is an honor to support these exceptional teachers by recognizing them through our Real Teacher of the Year program.”
Brittany Martinez, D.L. Rountree Elementary School, Allen, TX: As a Title I teacher, Ms. Martinez has dug deep within to enhance her teaching skills, to grow personal relationships with each family and to teach to the vibrant current and future story of each child. She teaches without excuse, giving more than what is expected. She uses everything at her disposal as a tool for growth, including daily smiles, huge hugs, quiet time, dance moves and lots of laughter!
Joshua Martin, Frost Elementary School, Houston, TX: To see Mr. Martin teach, is like watching a master conductor lead a major orchestra in a beautiful symphony. He knows each student and he recognizes their strengths. He can draw out of every child the most that child is able to give. His classroom management skills are equal to that of a master teacher. He reaches students on their level. His chants, claps, songs, and just that look, tell every student what they are to do, and every child understands.
Jacob Huggins, Thompson High School, Alabaster, AL: Mr. Huggins encourages us to be the best version of ourselves, challenges us to go outside our comfort zones, and inspires us to be the good in the world. He does this all through things such as “Good Deed Tuesdays” for his English classes and “Carpe Diem Tuesdays” for his creative writing classes, in which he encourages us to do something kind or brave and then share with the class each Tuesday what we did.
Emma Courington, Wilkerson Middle School, Birmingham, AL: Most of my goals were accomplished because of Ms. Courington. She made my life glow a new light. Every step to accomplishing goals she would be there no matter what. When I was down, she would cheer me up and support me. She not only helped me and supported me; she has also opened many opportunities for me. She never allowed me to feel less for myself because everything can be achieved if you believe in it.
Kara Baldwin, Dodson Elementary School, Hermitage, TN: Kara Baldwin teaches in ways to make each child feel special and meets each child’s needs wherever they are. She does an amazing job meeting their unique needs and helps them where needed so that they can flourish in kindergarten and beyond.