Eason, 26, rose to the forefront of a nominee field that included the top teacher from each of MCS’s 11 schools. Following opening remarks by last year’s winner, Stormi Johnson, the nominees filed onstage to be recognized for their outstanding work during the 2013-14 school year.
“A good teacher is one that has a passion for teaching,” Johnson said to the sea of tables comprising the audience at the Atlanta Marriott off Windy Hill Road, where the event took place.
Dr. Emily Lembeck, the superintendent of MCS, presented the award to Eason after listing some of her many achievements.
“Our new MCS Teacher of the Year will represent all of her colleagues in an outstanding way,” Lembeck said in a statement. “She evolves as an educator each day to meet the changing needs of her students, and recognizes this is an ongoing commitment to the children she educates and her profession.”
Eason left the stage with her arms full of plaques and a trophy, as well as a check for $1,000 from the Marietta City Schools Foundation, presented to her by foundation president Maddox Kilgore.
Each of the other ten nominees received a check for $500 from the foundation.
Eason said she had no idea she would leave the event as this year’s Teacher of the Year, calling the award a “total shock.”
“I’m humbled,” Eason said moments after receiving the honor. “There’s so many deserving candidates. I’m just shocked.”
At last year’s ceremony, Eason was given the Rose Wing Teacher of Promise award, named in honor of a teacher who spent 42 years with the Marietta school system, which recognizes instructors with two to five years of experience who show extraordinary ability in their profession.
Sawyer Road’s principal, Debbie Burley, had high praise for her school’s top teacher.
“She really gets the children engaged,” Burley said of Eason. “She works on computers; she differentiates.
She meets all the different levels of students in her class.”
Burley also lauded Eason’s ability to keep her cool in a classroom full of 10- and 11-year-olds.
“She never raises her voice. She’s an even keel.”
Eason said she always knew she wanted to be a teacher and a mom. As mother to her 2-year-old son, she has fulfilled both dreams.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to represent Marietta City Schools and work for such an awesome community of teachers and educators,” Eason said of her newly-bestowed title.
Burley echoed the sentiment of the lively crowd, most of whom flocked to the instructor after she left the stage.
“She’s a super teacher,” Burley remarked. “Everybody just loves her.”