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County schools name parent, teacher of year

The Lincoln County School District recognized parents andteachers for their outstanding service Monday night.

“A school district is no stronger than its parentalinvolvement,” said Superintendent Terry Brister in announcing thedistrict’s parents of the year. “If you look around the state, allof the best districts have a high degree of support from theirparents.”

Gwen Brister, representing Loyd Star Attendance Center, wasnamed District Parent of the Year for her tireless efforts atschool events, the superintendent said.

“You can see she was an easy choice just by her name,” jokedTerry Brister, adding there was no relation.

Gwen Brister faced tough competition for the honor from ReneeBilbo of Bogue Chitto, Mary Launa Givens of Enterprise and DonaldSpears Jr. of West Lincoln, who were awarded the honor by theirrespective schools.

The district also announced its teachers of the year Monday.

The superintendent said the award recognizes more than justexcellence in the classroom. It also recognizes excellence as arole model and a strong moral compass for students, he said.

“It is not something that is just handed out each year,” Bristersaid. “It’s looked at and it’s something special.”

Deborah Stietenroth, a special education teacher at Loyd StarMiddle School, was named the District Teacher of the Year.

“This is exciting,” she said. “I’m so proud.”

Other candidates for the district award were Scott Leggett, ahistory teacher at Bogue Chitto; Vicki King, a biology teacher atWest Lincoln; and Lynn Chapman, a kindergarten teacher atEnterprise.

The district also recognized three retiring teachers with morethan a century of educating students between them.

Anne Adams and Faye Leggett, of Enterprise, and Rita Long, ofBogue Chitto, retired after more than 39, 35 and 30 years,respectively.

Brister said the teachers have contributed to a Lincoln Countylegacy and will be missed.

“You’ll appreciate what you’ve created once you leave it,” hesaid. “Lincoln County schools have a reputation and are wellthought of, and it’s your contributions that have got us here.”

In other matters, Brister received approval to pursue a costestimate to build a 12-classroom building at Enterprise. The newstructure would replace several temporary buildings in use next tothe main office.