Melanie Loughmiller was named Elementary Teacher of the Year and John Dickinson was named Secondary Teacher of the Year for the Paris Independent School District at a dinner honoring teaching excellence. Both will represent Paris ISD in the Region VIII Education Service Center Teacher of the Year competition. 

Loughmiller holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Texas A&M-Commerce.  She has been a librarian at Aikin Elementary School for ten years. Prior to that, she was an elementary librarian and teacher at North Lamar ISD and teacher in Grant and Hugo, Oklahoma.

One of Loughmiller’s greatest joys is sharing her love of books and reading with students. She recently demonstrated this by serving on the leadership team that implemented the “Cats on the Prowl” mobile library—a reading program that serves students by bringing books to them in their neighborhoods during the summer months. She also planned a book tasting where the appetites of young readers were piqued when they sampled different authors and genres in the library which had been transformed into a cafe.

Dickinson holds a Bachelor of Science degree from East Texas State University. He has spent 26 years teaching science in Lamar County schools and 22 of those years have been spent teaching 8th graders. He implemented DMAC online testing to better align common assessments with tested TEKS.  He trained teachers of various departments on setting up the online test, creating the test, having students log in, and grading the tests. He also implemented a Science STAAR review day for 8th-grade students.

He attends hands-on, real-life workshops at NASA and McDonald Observatory and recreates the experiences with his students.  He said, “It is one thing to know about NASA, but it is very different to experience it in person.  While I can’t bring my students to NASA, I create NASA experiences in my classroom.”

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