Faculty Awards & Honors

Outstanding Achievement

Amy Ellis being honored in DC for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching

Amy Ellis being honored in DC for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching

The backbone of the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District continues to be the strength of our teachers and administrators. SOCSD’s highly qualified faculty exemplifies a passion for teaching  and boasts advanced degrees and a lengthy list of awards and accomplishments. Year after year, teachers in the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District are recognized for outstanding achievement through various awards and honors, including:

  • John K. Bettersworth Mississippi History Teacher of the Year
  • Starkville Area Education Hall of Fame
  • MS All State Lion’s Band Concert Director
  • Mississippi Governor’s School Faculty
  • Rural School and Community Trust Fellowship
  • Mississippi Scholastic Press Association Administrator of the Year
  • Mississippi Scholastic Press Association Advisor of the Year
  • Mississippi Marketing Teacher of the Year
  • Mississippi-Alabama All Star Head Coach, Football
  • Starkville Daily News Coach of the Year, Basketball
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Landmark Summer Scholar
  • RURAL TRUST Global Teacher Fellowship
  • Senator Thad Cochran MS Economics Teacher of the Year
  • Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award, Junior National History Day
  • MS Project Learning Tree Environmental Educator of the Year
  • Mississippi LEGO Robotics Mentor Award
  • Herb Handley Outstanding New Teacher, Mississippi Science Teacher’s Association
  • New York Stock Exchange Graduate Program Fellow
  • Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching Finalist
  • Senator Thad Cochran Forum on American Enterprise, Featured Panelist
  • Federal Reserve Educator Advisory Board Appointment
  • Ernestine Ferrell Award for Excellence in Choral Music
  • Mississippi Scholastic Art Awards, Blick Award
  • Kinsey Collection Exhibit at Mississippi State University, Featured Lecturer

National Recognition

The Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District faculty currently includes over 40 National Board Certified Teachers.

SOCSD staff also includes 13 National Certified Speech-Language Pathologists and School Counselors.

State-wide Recognition

Andrew Lark, 2003 Mississippi Teacher of the Year, teaching photography outdoors.

Andrew Lark, 2003 Mississippi Teacher of the Year, teaching photography outdoors.

Six SOCSD faculty members have been recognized as Teacher of the Year and one faculty member as a finalist in the Mississippi Teacher of the Year Program:

  • 1989 — Nelle Elam
  • 1994 — Theresa Pitts, finalist
  • 1997 — Tina F. Scholtes
  • 2002 — Paul M. Cuicchi
  • 2003 — Andrew Lark
  • 2011 — R.J. Morgan
  • 2015 — Ginger Tedder

Fifteen SOCSD faculty members have been inducted into the
Mississippi Hall of Master Teachers:

  • 1991 — Sherry W. Swain
  • 1993 — Dianne Faulk
  • 1993 — Jane W. Lusk
  • 1994 — Theresa Pitts
  • 1995 — Robbie Miller
  • 1997 — Tina Fisher Scholtes
  • 1998 — Marsha W. Moore
  • 2000 — June D. Barnett
  • 2001 — Rosemary C. Cuicchi
  • 2001 — Reba D. Thompson
  • 2002 — Paul M. Cuicchi
  • 2003 — Sherrill M. Wiygul
  • 2004 — Elizabeth Pollard
  • 2006 — Debbie Vanderford
  • 2007 — Rusty Coats
  • 2014 — Tassie Rosamond

Local Recognition

Merrill Hawkins Excellence in Education Award

The Merrill Hawkins award was established by the Starkville Rotary Club to honor an outstanding teacher each year. The award is to be presented to an active teacher in a school within Oktibbeha County whose technique, dedication, and expertise has brought distinction to their classroom accomplishments.

The award was named for Dr. Merrill Hawkins, a former Rotary District 6820 governor and dean of the College of Education at Mississippi State University. In addition to recognition and presentation of a plaque, the Starkville Rotary Club will provide a $1,000 grant to support the educational program of the recipient.

Past SCOSD recipients:

  • Paul Cuicchi
  • Amy Ellis
  • Bonnie Feig
  • Andrew Lark
  • Kristie Williams
  • Ty Adair

 

Paul Cuicchi Innovative Educator Award
The Starkville Foundation for Public Education celebrates educators who inspire their students to become lifelong learners and active participants in the world around them. In 2010 the Starkville Foundation For Public Education created the Innovative Educator Award in honor of Dr. Paul Cuicchi, who taught at Starkville High School for 33 years.

  • 2010 — Dr. Paul Mark Cuicchi
  • 2011 — Ty Adair
  • 2012 — Dell Mtichell
  • 2013 — R.J. Morgan
  • 2014 — Tassie Rosamond

 

Education Hall of Fame
The Education Hall of Fame Award is presented by the Greater Starkville Development Partnership and recognizes area residents who have achieved state, regional, and national recognition in the field of education. It honors those who have achieved distinction in the field of education through their teaching, research, writing, academic achievements, and professional society participation.

Starkville Oktibbeha School District inductees into EHOF include:

  • 1998 — Joan M. Butler
  • 1988 — Jane W. Lusk
  • 1989 — Paul M. Cuicchi
  • 1990 — Nelle D. Elam
  • 1991 — Sherry Seale Swain
  • 1993 — Anne G. Bonner
  • 1993 — Diane T. Faulk
  • 1994 — Rosa Stewart Rogers
  • 1995 — Nellie Epps
  • 1996 — Pamela S. Hunt
  • 1996 — Fenton Peters
  • 1997 — Larry L. Box
  • 1997 — Kay C. Krans
  • 1998 — Paula Mabry
  • 1999 — June D. Barnett
  • 2000 — Janet Henderson
  • 2000 — Tina Sholtes
  • 2005 — Andrew Lark
  • 2005 — Theresa B. Pitts
  • 2005 — James H. Smith
  • 2007 — Libby C. Pollard
  • 2012 — Robin Dibble
  • 2013 — Amy Ellis McReynolds
  • 2014 — Ty Adair
  • 2015 — Stan Miller
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