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Roark named WES Teacher of the Year

Dee Roark was selected as Westside Elementary School’s 2008 Teacher of the Year after balloting by fellow WES teachers.

“I was very surprised and excited,” she said. “I thought it was quite an honor. I really wasn’t expecting it.”

“Each fall, our teaching staff makes two nominations for Teacher of the Year,” said WES principal Connie Brown. “It’s a great honor, because that person is selected by their peers. It’s not by the children — it’s not a popularity vote. They are deemed as being that kind of teacher by their own peers, so it means a lot.

“I think that everyone’s perception of Mrs. Roark is that she’s committed, she’s maternal and she manages her classroom well. She’s accountable, and she’s a team player.

“I think she has a sweet, cooperative, collaborative spirit,” Brown said, “and the other teachers recognize that.”

Roark is the second Westside Elementary Teacher of the Year. Tammy Spruell won the inaugural award last year.

A second-grade teacher, Roark said she had a calling to work with children since she was in school.

“I love working with children,” she said. “I’ve wanted to work with children since I was young. Every day, seeing them accomplish something and helping them accomplish a goal is a wonderful thing.

“I always want them to do something fun to learn. We usually play games: reading games, math games — anything that will make them learn that’s fun. I let them set their own goals, and I help them by their reading level or whatever they’re doing.

“I try to encourage them and be positive, because I think they work better with a positive environment,” she said.

Roark is married to Glenn Roark, and they have two children, Lauren, 22, a recent University of Alabama graduate, and Brandon, 20, who is enrolled at Shelton State.