By GRAYSON LEE MAXWELL
Rutherford County Schools
Two Rutherford County Schools teachers have been honored for mentorship of student teachers.
Both teachers — David Bonilla of Whitworth-Buchana Middle and Brooke Singleton of Rock Springs Elementary — were honored as Mentor Teachers of Excellence, a new award developed by Middle Tennessee State University.
Bonilla was presented with the middle school award, and Singleton won the early childhood award. The honor was developed to recognize mentor teachers and commend them for their dedication to the craft.
“We wanted to say, ‘thank you’ to the teachers whose classrooms we work in,” said Shannon Harmon, associate professor of education at MTSU, “and who welcome us and our (student) teacher candidates with open arms.”
Winners for the Mentor Teacher of Excellence award are selected by a committee, who interview education students to learn about mentor teachers who are welcoming, teaching and pushing new teacher candidates to greater levels of success.
“I think teaching is something that you can fall in love with doing,” Bonilla said, “but part of that comes from the support you’re given in those tough moments. I hope to be someone who can support others and help them to fall in love with teaching.”
Likewise, Singleton also noted how receiving support is important, as well as her love for the mentor program when receiving her award:
“As an MTSU alumna, it is so rewarding to be recognized for successes from the program that deepened my passion for education and shaped me into who I am as a teacher.”
The committee at MTSU plans to continue recognizing mentor teachers by offering the award next year.