Amanda Bass has spent the last five years working to shape and mold the lives of the hundreds of students who enter her classroom at Sampson Middle School.
That hard work and dedication was rewarded Monday afternoon as Bass, the SMS Teacher of the Year, was named the 2018-19 Jack and Kitty Morisey Teacher of the Year for Clinton City Schools.
“I know that the classroom, the middle school classroom, is my calling in life,” Bass shared. “It was never part of my plan to move to middle school, but sometimes God’s plan is not the same as ours. Teaching is challenging, and I love teaching. There is no doubt that this is my purpose in life.”
Bass, a sixth grade math teacher, has 16 years of teaching experience, with five of those at Sampson Middle School. She has served as the sixth-grade chair, on the School Improvement Team, the Curriculum and Instruction Committee, Fall Festival Committee and attended the NCTIES (North Carolina Technology In Education Society) conference.
She holds degrees from Meredith College and East Carolina University.
The Sampson Middle School teacher was one of five nominated for the honor. In addition to Bass, other nominees were Angela Williamson of L.C. Kerr School, Kalyn Herring of Butler Avenue School, Ashley Merritt of Sunset Avenue School, and Donna Owens of Clinton High School.
This is the third year in a row a teacher from Sampson Middle School has been chosen as the district-wide representative as Teacher of the Year. Last year’s recipient was Cathy Ammons, who was preceded by Juandalynn Ray.
The leaders of Sampson Middle School, as well as Clinton City Schools, could only offer praises for Bass, as she was honored.
“Mrs. Bass exemplifies what it means to be a part of our SMS family,” SMS principal Greg Dirks said. “She prepares her students for life’s experiences that they will face in the future. We are thrilled for her to be chosen as the Jack and Kitty Morisey Clinton City Schools Teacher of the Year.”
Clinton City Schools assistant superintendent Dr. Kelly Batts agrees with Dirks’ opinion about Ammons.
“I have seen Mrs. Bass grow professionally over the three years that I have known her,” Batts stated. “She has been a reflective practitioner working alongside her school and district colleagues to improve her practice. She is at work in her classroom, school, and her community to help young people to not only improve academically, but also to become better citizens. I know she sees teaching as a ‘calling’ not just a job. We are proud to have her representing Clinton City Schools.”
According to Jeff Swartz, child nutrition director and coordinator for the Teacher of the Year selection committee, each of the selected school representatives will receive $2,000 for personal utilization and $500 for their classroom. This money comes from the Jack and Kitty Morisey Fund. The winning teacher’s school will receive $2,000 for their use. In addition to the title of Teacher of the Year, the winning recipient for the district is awarded $3,500 for personal use.