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Teachers of the Year

Congratulations to our Teachers of the Year! 

 Myers & Griffin  Biloxi High School chose a fantastic duo to be honored as our Teachers of the Year for 2018-2019.  One could not be chosen over the other, because they truly are a team that works to better the lives of each of their students.  They share students, classroom space, assistants, responsibilities, and a love of children.  These two ladies come to work everyday with a truck load of love, support, and patience for each of their students.  You always find their classroom teeming with learning and each of their students actively participating.  They spend their day educating their students to become as independent as possible.  If you ever want to visit the happiest classroom at BHS, you do not need to look any further than the classrooms of Miesha Griffin and Katherine Myers.  Together they serve our students that require a great deal of special care.  These two ladies make a difference for their students every day and they make Biloxi High School a better place.  Congratulations to both of them for being representative of all the characteristics you look for in a great teacher!
Dearing Biloxi Junior High is proud to recognize Michael Dearing as our Teacher of the Year for 2018-2019!  Mr. Dearing's class is informative, interesting and engaging as he makes the past come alive for students while making connections between the past and present. Mr. Dearing develops great relationships with his students, even the hardest to reach. The quintessential team player, Mr. Dearing is quick to step in when there is something that needs to be done whether it is car duty, or hallway duty or helping out a fellow teacher. He is also willing to go to great lengths to keep students engaged, even going so far as to shave his beard when students reached a goal. Mr. Dearing is ALWAYS willing to step up if something needs to be done that will benefit our students or the school - we are proud to have him on the team.

It is with great pleasure that Biloxi Upper recognizes Cagney Weaver as Teacher of the Year! Cagney graduated Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi  and immediately began her career in education.   She went on to attain her National Board Certification in literacy. Over the course of her nine years in education, six of which have been with Biloxi Public Schools, Cagney has worked in several capacities to demonstrate her expertise in the field.  Currently, she serves in the capacity of 5th grade ELA/SS teacher,  department chair, National Elementary Honor Society sponsor and yearbook adviser.   

 Some of her noteworthy accomplishments and contributions consist of serving as a presenter for multiple Mississippi Department of Education workshops, the Mississippi Association of Gifted Children conference, and ECET2 in addition to serving as a Candidate Support Provider for the World Class Teaching program at the University of Southern Mississippi wherein she assists teachers seeking National Board Certification. 

In 2016, Cagney graduated with her Master’s degree in Special Education: Gifted Education. Her expertise in the field gained her the Milken Educator Award in 2014 and the Leo Seal Innovative Teacher Award in 2018.  


Ms. Gates is a 3rd grade Math teacher and has been teaching for 16 years. Ms. Gates is compassionate, but has extremely high expectations for student learning. Every situation in her classroom is a teachable moment. In Ms. Gates' class, students are not only taught math standards, but life skills. She pushes all of her students to give 100% and it shows in her test scores and how her students interact with each other. Ms. Gates keeps parents involved as she develops a partnership with each parent. Ms. Gates is very deserving of this award and I'm proud to say she is a Gorenflo Strong teacher!


Jillian Langlinais has been an exemplary Pre-K teacher at Nichols since its reopening in August of 2015.  She has brought daily innovation to her instructional program that engages even the most reluctant learners.  As a direct result, her students have consistently performed at the highest levels on the Mississippi Kindergarten Readiness Assessment.  

Jillian has also served in the following school-wide capacities: School Leadership Team Member, Early Literacy Carnival Coordinator, Read Across America Committee Member, Best Practices Presenter, STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) After-school Teacher, and PTO Faculty Liaison. 

Ms. Langlinais realizes that each student  has unique qualities, and she has discovered that consistent, individualized interventions will make an invaluable difference in all children.  In fact, she has cultivated an inclusive environment where all of her challenged learners can thrive  in every aspect of their development.

Additionally, Ms. Langlinais is a great resource for teachers in surrounding districts as well as her colleagues at Nichols, and her parents are tremendously appreciative for her unwavering dedication.  Jillian’s personality is genuinely pleasing, and her versatility allows her to be an inspirational team player, adjusting to any situation with great ease.

Ms. Jillian Langlinais is definitely a trailblazer in the field of early childhood education, and her performance is truly worthy of the highest recognition.


Molly Pittman- Is an outstanding educator.  When you see her teaching students, it does not take long to notice the passion she has.  She is leader, collaborator, and strives to make each student the very best that they can be.  


Mrs. Otwell is very precise in her instructional planning.  She is consistent about using appropriate curricula, instructional strategies, resources and data during the planning process to address the needs of her students.  She strives to motivate and engage her students with creative lessons. She believes every student is capable of achieving success at school. She finds exciting ways to make sure each of her students are successful.  Mrs. Otwell brings academic concepts to life with visual and practical learning experiences, helping students to understand how their schooling applies to the real world.  Mrs. Otwell’s personality reflects that of a master teacher.  She is always positive and willing to help when needed. She maintains a sense of honesty and integrity in everything she does.  She uses her own individual sense of moral and ethical behavior when working with others. She shows self confidence in her daily work but is not afraid to ask questions when needed.  She is always willing to volunteer and take risks. She has faith in herself and her ability to perform in the classroom, which is manifested in her positive attitude and outlook on life.  Mrs. Otwell understands and possesses a willingness to work hard to reach the individual learner.  She genuinely cares about her job and completes all planning with the individual learner in mind. She shows patience when working with students in her classroom. Her ultimate goal for each student is to be a successful learner in the classroom as well as an individual with great confidence outside of the classroom.


Ms. Fortenberry has been teaching at Popp’s Ferry, as a 1st grade teacher, since August of 2014.  Simply put, Ms. Fortenberry is a Rock Star who goes above and beyond what is expected of a teacher.   It should also be noted that Ms. Fortenberry is a Biloxi High School graduate.  Since coming to Popp’s Ferry, Ms. Fortenberry has had some of the highest test scores, not only at Popp’s Ferry, but across the district.  She was eager to volunteer to be a Student Council sponsor when we started our Student Council four years ago.  She has conducted writing workshops during the summer and has even travelled to Jackson to meet students and parents that have been recognized for winning some of the writing competitions.  For the past two years she has had students win in the MPB Kids Club Writers Contest.  This week she also learned that she has been selected as one of the winners for the Leo Seal Innovative Teacher Award and will be recognized in April.  I cannot say enough about Ms. Fortenberry.  I will say that she is what every Principal dreams that a teacher in their school will be.  Select her now as the BPS District Teacher of the Year… she is so deserving of this honor and exemplifies the title of Teacher of the Year!!


Thonisha Davis has earned the Teacher of the Year recognition for the Center for New Opportunities for the 2018-2019 school year. Mrs. Davis deals with the most challenging students in the district. Her students are in six different grade levels and take just about every math class the district offers. She handles their academics needs and with a calm, yet caring, demeanor. It takes a very special person to teach at an alternative school and Mrs. Davis is has excelled in her first year here at CNO. For these reasons and so many more Mrs. Thonisha Davis is the Center for New Opportunities Teach of the Year. 


Biloxi Career Technology Center chose a new addition to the team to be honored as our Teacher of the Year for 2018-2019.  This person worked in the field of nursing as an RN for over 16 years.  This summer she saw a social media post advertising a Health Science teacher position at Biloxi Career Technical Center.  She applied and was offered the position and now you can say the rest is history.  Kristy Warner had no experience as a classroom teacher but you cannot tell that when you enter her classroom.  She has embraced being a teacher and gives all that she has to her students.  Her students love her as well as her class and look forward to what interesting projects Mrs. Warner has in store for them each day.  It may be dissecting turkey bones, making their own episode of “Warner’s Anatomy,” being patients in a disaster drill, etc.  The possibilities are endless and Biloxi CTC is very proud to have Ms. Warner on our team!  Congratulations to our teacher of the year, Ms. Warner, and we thank her for being such a dynamic, hands on teacher for our students!