Bay District Schools names ‘21-’22 Teachers of the Year

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 4:30 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It was award season this morning for Bay District Schools as three teachers were recognized as the best for the 2021-2022 school year.

First up is Teacher of the Year Gale Cassady, a first grade teacher at Tommy Smith Elementary School. She taught for a quarter-century in Alabama before spending the last eight years in Bay County. Cassady says she loves teaching at Tommy Smith because of the family environment and seeing the young Panthers grow and learn throughout the year.

“I know that every one of those teachers deserved this just as much as I did, so I’m not sure what exactly caused me to be chosen as number one, but I’m very humble and grateful,” said Cassady

The middle stop was Hiland Park Elementary School to deliver the Ann F. Smith Support Employee of the Year to Greg Lyon. Mr. Lyon is a paraprofessional at the school, he started teaching while serving in the Navy and this is his third year at Hiland Park. He gave a very quick answer to why he comes to work every day.

“I love teaching, I love these kids, every one of them. I love seeing when their eyes light up, all that stuff, it’s fantastic,” said Lyon.

Last but not least, over to Bay High School where a new award, the Rookie Teacher of the Year, was awarded to Emily Partington. Ms. Partington teaches Spanish to the AICE students at Bay. The Florida State University alumna was excited to be named Bay County’s first-ever Rookie Teacher of the Year.

“Ever since I heard the Rookie of the Year was a thing I was like ‘finally I have a chance’ because I didn’t think second-year teacher me would ever get an opportunity like this to get recognized so I’m very grateful for this moment,” said Partington.

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