McDuffie County candidates for the Teacher of the Year have been announced, and there's a new addition to this year's finalists.
This year's list has a teacher from each of the six county schools, plus a teacher from Cross Roads Learning Center.
"We haven't included them since I've been here ... so I asked 'Why not?'" Superintendent Mark Petersen said.
Dr. Petersen said the Cross Roads staff will be included in the competition once every three years because of their small number.
The Teacher of the Year will be announced at the annual banquet honoring each school's winner on Monday, Oct. 30.
Candidates are: Sherika Warthen of Cross Roads, Christa Arrington of Dearing Elementary, Becky Morlan of Maxwell Elementary, Tonya Powell of Norris Elementary, Kimberly Hunter of Thomson Elementary, Robin Dudley of Thomson High, and Beth Newsome of Thomson Middle School.
"It's not a popularity contest, it's some true kinds of stuff," the Superintendent said.
Qualifications of a Teacher of the Year include a teacher certification, an exceptionally dedicated and knowledgeable teacher who is planning to remain in active teaching status, one who inspires students, has the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues, who plays an active role in the community and who is poised, articulate and possesses the energy to withstand a taxing schedule.
"We're looking forward to recognizing our Bulldog points of pride," Dr. Petersen said. "We've got some great candidates, and I look for one of ours to move forward to state."