Not everyone can wear the coveted Wal-Mart blue vest.
For educators like Roxanne Chesani, you have to be named Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year to get one.
On Tuesday, Wal-Mart manager Patrick Clifford presented the Grovetown Middle School seventh grade language arts teacher with her own blue vest and a $1,000 check for being named the 2003 Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year.
"This is her first year teaching, and that's what's so outstanding to me," said Principal Carolyn Fries. "It shows our higher education institutions are doing their job producing quality teachers. Her students absolutely love her."
After being nominated by the community, Chesani was selected by store associates as the local winner. Comments from her nomination form describe her as a teacher who listens to her students and can explain things on their level.
Roxanne Chesani, a seventh-grade
language arts teacher from Grovetown Middle School,
displays the blue vest she was
presented by Evans
Wal-Mart manager Patrick Clifford after being named the Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Chesani did her student teaching at Evans Middle School last year after graduating from Augusta State University. She is also a graduate of Butler High School in Augusta. She is married to John Chesani and they have two children, Lauren, age 9, Layton, age 15.
Since its inception in 1995, the Teacher of the Year program has recognized more than 14,000 teachers nationwide and contributed more than $8.4 million in educational grants to local schools. Through the program, which is one of the largest teacher recognition efforts in the country, Wal-Mart will give back $2 million this year alone to the schools of winning teachers, according to Betsy Reithemeyer, director of the Wal-Mart Good Works Foundation.
Local winners can complete a comprehensive nomination form to compete for the state winner. All 50 state winners were automatically considered for the national Teacher of the Year award, which carries a prize of $10,000.
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