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Swearingen named Mill Creek’s best

Tosha Swearingen, fourth from left, received the Teacher of the Year Award at Mill Creek Elementary School. Congratulating her are assistant principal Kacy McKay, from left, principal Carmen Buchanan, Tosha's husband Cyrus Swearingen, superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler and coordinator of elementary instruction Judy Warmath. (CONTRIBUTED)
Tosha Swearingen, fourth from left, received the Teacher of the Year Award at Mill Creek Elementary School. Congratulating her are assistant principal Kacy McKay, from left, principal Carmen Buchanan, Tosha’s husband Cyrus Swearingen, superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler and coordinator of elementary instruction Judy Warmath. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Tosha Swearingen has been chosen “Teacher of the Year” at Mill Creek Elementary School.

Swearingen sponsors the Junior Leaders Club and served on the Mill Creek and district English Language Arts teams, as testing administrator for Dibels benchmark and the committee for standards-based report cards.

In addition, she chaired learning standard study for the District Accreditation Team and served as grade-level chair.

She works as an inclusion teacher and also teaches special needs students transitioning into kindergarten. “Seeing my students work collaboratively with the special needs students makes me very proud,” Swearingen said. “They embrace them and overlook their disabilities and only see them as friends.”

Swearingen finds reward in seeing her students’ growth each year. “When my kindergartners come to me at the beginning of the school year, they are just babies. Some have never been in a classroom setting or away from mom and dad for very long. This is a big adjustment and can be very challenging,” she said.

“It’s so rewarding to see them grow and develop into independent students. The most rewarding thing about my job is listening to a student read for the first time,” Swearingen said.

From her own schooling, Swearingen’s fourth-grade teacher most influenced her decision to become a teacher. “She was more than a teacher … she was my friend. She helped me though my parents’ divorce,” Swearingen said.

Swearingen earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Athens State University and a master’s degree in education theory and practice from Arkansas State University.

Previously, she taught at North Lafayette Elementary School in Lafayette, Ga. as an early intervention specialist and fifth-grade math teacher, first grade at Columbia Elementary School and kindergarten at Mill Creek Elementary School.

Her husband Cyrus teaches history and coaches football coach at James Clemens High School. Their son Riley is three years old.

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