Panama City - This week's Golden Apple Award winner is an English teacher in Rutherford High School's Communication-Technology Academy. This is not the first time Lin Byrd has been recognized recently. Her peers already chose her as Rutherford's Teacher of the Year. This time it was a student who nominated her for an award.
As the teleprompter operator for Comm-Tech, Tiffany Hampton helps others deliver the daily announcements. Her mom says it's that class and its teacher, Ms. Byrd, who helped her find her own voice. "Tiffany was very shy, she had no friends that she would associate with outside of school, and now she has opened up," said Denise Hampton.
Tiffany is using that voice to call attention to a well-deserving teacher. "She is one of my favorite teachers. She helps with the yearbook, she helps with announcements. She is an awesome all-around teacher," said Tiffany.
" I love kids, teaching is truly a calling and teaching high school is a lot of fun. We can do a lot of different things, and it's like I never left high school," said Byrd.
The Comm-Tech program is a school within a school, a place where students who prefer non-traditional learning methods can use hands-on techniques to succeed. "We take the career and technical classes and integrate them with the academic classes. I teach English, but my students also take, within the academy, computer classes such as digital design and new media technology. So that kids, when they graduate high school, they leave with a skill, not just prepared for post-secondary education. They are ready for the real world of work."
"She really cares about her students, not just about her school work, but about them personally, in their lives," said Rutherford Principal Mike Kennedy. "If you have a down day, come talk to Ms. Byrd, she is there for you," said Tiffany.
Congratulations to Lin Byrd, this week's Golden Apple Award-winning teacher.