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Huntsville City Schools "Surprises" Teachers of the Year

Superintendent Dr. Matt Akin and district staff surprised teachers at two schools today with their selections as a 2017-2018 Huntsville City Schools’ Teacher of the Year.  Lori Rhonemus, a fifth-grade teacher at Goldsmith-Schiffman, was selected as the Huntsville City Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Rebecca Phillips, who is a math instructor at Lee High School, is the district’s Secondary Teacher of the Year.  Each teacher received special surprises, including flowers, a gift card to SchoolCraft, and fifty dollars.  Rhonemus and Phillips will go on to compete for the Alabama Teacher of the Year. 

Lori Rhonemus earned her degree in Elementary Education at Ohio State and relocated to Huntsville when her husband retired from the military.  She has taught preschool, kindergarten, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, and upper elementary gifted and talented. Rhonemus was born in California, spent many years in Ohio, and is happy to call Huntsville home.  Ms. Rhonemus said that she was “absolutely overwhelmed,” but that she is also surrounded by so many other amazing teachers that “just being among their caliber is absolutely humbling.”

Rebecca Phillips has multiple degrees in mathematics from East Tennessee State University and UNC – Chapel Hill.  Phillips believes that “math is a beautiful expression of the order of the universe”, and loves sharing that knowledge with her students.  Rebecca is excited to start her third year at Lee High School.  Ms. Phillips said that she is surrounded by amazing teachers, so receiving the award was “beyond surprising” and that it was a “tremendous honor.”

Lori Rhonemus and Rebecca Phillips will be honored with a resolution at an upcoming Huntsville Board of Education Meeting.  The two teachers will also compete in the Alabama Teacher of the Year Program, which seeks annually to honor and recognize excellence in the teaching profession by identifying outstanding Alabama classroom teachers at local, district, and state levels.