At the heart of this year’s middle/junior high honoree’s application is the idea of excellence. Stating that excellence is a goal we all seek and aspire to, the work is never finished. We must be always analyzing, examining, and scrutinizing our work and methods with excellence as the end goal and then in turn leads us to constantly strive for perfection in all we do. Our honoree adds that academic excellence is a process by which students are motivated to learn in ways that make a sustained, substantial, and positive influence on how students think, act, and feel. This is then accomplished through careful consideration and scrutiny of methods and curriculum. Six years ago, this teacher received a Value-Added Measurement score of 43 and was devastated to realize that less than half her class had growth, if any. At this point, she went to work on restructuring her instructional practice, adding curriculum and changing the classroom. The result? Her VAM score soared to 97 yet she wasn’t satisfied. Why not a 99? She eventually hit that 99 mark and her average has hovered around 98 ever since as students have moved into advanced and mastery levels. Her passion for changing the face of math education continues to resonate today as she remains steadfast in her quest to see her students achieve excellence at the highest levels. Letters of recommendation cite her ability to analyze student needs as well as set the highest of expectations. Known for building relationships with students and community, she utilizes every moment she has with her students through a classroom alive with excitement. A former student notes that the best teachers cannot be discovered by test scores and student grades, but can be seen by the impact they make on the students around them. Such an impact makes her a tremendous Middle/Junior High School Teacher of the Year. Ladies and gentlemen, from Choudrant High School, Lori Kelly.