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Mamie Martin Teacher of the Year believes love leads to learning

For the second time in her career, Mamie Martin Elementary teacher Kellye Sicks has been named the school’s Teacher of the Year.

Sicks has taught for 33 years — 20 at Mamie Martin — and plans to retire in the near future. She’s taught fourth and fifth grades during that time, but has primarily been a kindergarten teacher, as she is now.

“Kindergarten is my favorite,” said Sicks. “They are so eager to learn, and I love watching their academic growth throughout the year.”

Sicks thinks she was chosen for the honor because other teachers look to her for guidance due to her many years of experience.

The education veteran gives credit to two groups of individuals for their influence and encouragement.

“My family, as well as the Brookhaven School District administrators I’ve worked alongside, have always encouraged and supported me throughout my career,” Sicks said.

What Sicks loves most about her chosen profession is the long-lasting bond she forms with her students and their families. Although the advice she has given to new teachers across the years has evolved with her own experience, it is this bond that is the centerpiece of advice she would give now.

“I would advise new teachers to form relationships with their students and their families. When you genuinely love them, learning will take place.”