Fourth Grade Teacher
Frank E. Brigham Academy
Adam J. Smith is a fourth grade teacher at Frank E. Brigham Academy with 14 years of teaching experience. With an ever-present smile on his face and an amazing can-do attitude, Mr. Smith shows contagious enthusiasm in his daily teaching. Originally, he considered a career as an architectural engineer, but turned to teaching where he could be a positive male role model. He works to provide a nurturing environment where students are able to take educational risks without fear of ridicule and embarrassment. Smith explains, “Your overall purpose is to motivate and challenge your students to succeed, but you must also instill in each child that you won’t give up on them.” His students participate in hands-on lessons involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). He has been very instrumental in helping to start a STEM program at his school, and works to get other teachers interested and excited about the program.
Jason Leatherwood, an ESE paraprofessional at Horizons Elementary, is known for his sense of humor and approachable manner, which immediately puts students at ease, and they are eager to work with him to complete the task at hand. He is able to calm down the most upset child, and parents have sought his advice and guidance with their own children. He is reliable, dependable and always willing to help – whether assisting teachers get their classrooms ready for the start of the school year or creating an afternoon variety show for students to display their talents as they wait for a late bus to arrive. Leatherwood explains, “My role is ever-changing; however, it all encompasses assisting the teacher in order to provide the students with a positive school experience.”
Adam J. Smith was chosen Teacher of the Year among the following teacher finalists:
Jason Leatherwood was named School-Related Employee of the Year among the following school-related finalists: