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System taps top three
Teachers honored by grade level
Lesa Barnett, the county's elementary school teacher of the year, reacts after learning the news at Matt Elementary. - photo by Alyssa LaRenzie
Three Forsyth County teachers were shocked by some unexpected visitors Tuesday morning.The 2011 teachers of the year were named for elementary, middle and high school levels in surprise celebrations at their campuses.A group led by Superintendent Buster Evans honored Lesa Barnett, Aly Brown and Natalie Kitchen with flowers, balloons and congratulations.The annual districtwide contest names a top teacher for each school, then narrows the field to three -- one at each level -- before selecting the systemwide representative. That person will then compete in the state competition.The school system makes its selection through a series of essays, interviews and classroom visits.Candidates for the honor must have at least two years of experience, work full time and have top-notch qualities.Barnett, a special education teacher at Matt Elementary, said the moment was "unreal."In an emotional celebration, she hugged her five students during a physical education class in the school's gym."I'm honored to represent not only Matt, but also the special education department in Forsyth County," she said. "I love my job.