Two Bedford County Schools employees have been recognized for their hard work and dedication. Supervisor of the Year went to Special Education Supervisor Julie Haynes, and Principal of the Year went …
Two Bedford County Schools employees have been recognized for their hard work and dedication. Supervisor of the Year went to Special Education Supervisor Julie Haynes, and Principal of the Year went to East Side Elementary Principal Layne Talbott.
Having been the Special Education Supervisor for five years, Haynes has been in education for 24 years. She received bachelor’s of science and master’s degrees from Middle Tennessee State University.
From an early age, she said she knew she wanted to work with children, so she supported this by working at a couple after school care position throughout high school and college. She then began teaching in Coffee County before moving to Thomas Elementary School in Shelbyville in 1999 to teach special education for 4th and 5th grades.
Haynes also served as assistant principal at East Side Elementary from fall 2015 until June 2017 and was named supervisor of special education that July.
“My experience as an educator allowed me to see the world of special education evolve over the years,” Haynes commented. “I worked with educators at Thomas Elementary School who embraced the inclusionary model and made that model successful for our students’ academic success. In my positions, I have learned the importance of just listening. So many students and families whom I work with just want to have a voice and to be heard.”
So far, she said believes her department has achieved an outstanding working relationship with students, parents, teachers and administrators, making the program one of the “best in the state.”
“Building relationships to last means a lot to me, and I hope anyone that has ever met with me, knows that when they leave my office,” she said.
And building relationships she does. She said one of the most challenging parts of her job is having to “wear many hats.”
“Providing services to students from age 3 through their 22nd birthday is a challenge because there is so much information that goes with each milestone,” she said.
However, it pays off. “I love being in a classroom and getting to visit a student completing something for the first time. No price can be assigned to see the excitement on his or her face when he or she realizes the accomplishment!”
When named supervisor of the year, Haynes said she was in disbelief.
“I had the opportunity to work in other school districts, but I wanted to give back to the community where I was raised and graduated from. I know I do not say this enough, but the team I work alongside is amazing. My special education teachers, educational assistants, therapists, support staff and office staff are rock stars. They are in the trenches each day and work so hard for our students. They make me proud!”
Superintendent Tammy Garrett commented, “Julie Haynes is a true advocate for students with disabilities. She is a wealth of knowledge and an essential member of our leadership team. Many parents have witnessed how she works with them to design the best educational plan possible for our students.”
Assistant superintendent Tim Harwell also said, “Julie excels as a supervisor due to her heart for all students. In her position as SPED supervisor, she is on the forefront advocating for all students having every opportunity to learn and excel to the best of their ability.”
Principal of the Year Talbott is in her 6th year at East Side Elementary and 19th year as an educator in Bedford County.
She received a bachelor of science in education from Middle Tennessee State University, master of arts in instructional leadership from Tennessee Tech University, and specialist in education (instructional leadership) from Tennessee Tech University.
She has taught kindergarten, first grade and third grade, and was assistant principal at Southside Elementary for five years before becoming principal at East Side Elementary.
“From being a student, a teacher and an assistant principal, I have learned that everyone needs a compassionate principal. My moto is ‘Family first,’ and I try to live by this philosophy each day. I think it helps build a positive climate and culture,” she said.
Talbott added that during her time as principal at East Side she has been able to create a “positive climate and culture between faculty, staff and students.”
“This has definitely helped with teacher retention each year. Also, we have joined forces with community partners like Cooper Steel, our biggest supporter. We are thankful for the support of our community partners!” she said.
Garrett said Talbott has one of the highest teacher-retention rates in Bedford County Schools — which speaks volumes as many systems struggle with staffing.
Like many other educators, Talbott said there are not enough hours in the day. It’s one of the biggest challenges of what she does.
“If I could clone myself, I might be able to complete the to-do list. There is always more to be done. I wish I could give my teachers and students more. The demands of the education field are many, but the rewards are plenty,” she said.
However, it’s the students that make this job fun for Talbott.
“I am honored to have been chosen for this award by my peers. Bedford County has the best educators, and I am proud to work alongside them each day. Being a product of Bedford County schools, coming from a family of Bedford County educators and working my entire career in Bedford County, I am so proud of this district and all that is being accomplished on a daily basis!.”
Harwell commented, “At East Side, Layne has created an environment in which students and teachers feel safe and supported. She takes her role as instructional leader seriously and is always willing to grow in that capacity.”
Garrett also added, “Layne Talbott is a phenomenal principal. The school culture she creates through her leadership is one of the best, and teachers and students love to be at East Side. She is a great manager as well as instructional leader.”