Mississippi Teacher of the Year visits Panther Nation

QUITMAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Mississippi's Teacher of the Year made a stop in Quitman Tuesday to learn more about Panther Nation. Quitman High School was the first stop on her statewide tour.

Only the best and the brightest educators can earn a title like Mississippi Teacher of the Year.

"Never in a million years thought that I could get anything like that," Whitney Drewrey says.

But the Mississippi Association of Educators decided Drewrey had what it takes. She's a teacher from Lafayette Upper Elementary School in Lafayette County. She's traveling around the state touring different schools and meeting with administrators, beginning with Quitman High School.

"My first stop is with Dr. Howard Savage," Drewrey says. "He won Administrator of the Year, so we've been on a lot of committees together. This was my first stop and could not wait to get to Panther Nation."

Dr. Howard Savage Jr. proudly showcases what his school has to offer.

"I was very proud to just sit back and watch them do the job because that's what we do here at Panther Nation," he says. "It's about students first, so we are very proud of that."

One of the most touching moments - a visit to the special education class. As a special education teacher, herself, Drewrey had a connection to each student there.

"You made my heart happy. You made my heart happy," she says with tears in her eyes before hugging the students goodbye.

"We have so many teacher in Mississippi who are teachers of the year in so many different ways, and I know that Whitney feels the same way that many of our other teachers of the year have felt in the past, that they are just an example of how many great teachers we have across the state." MAE president Joyce Helmick says.

The Teacher of the Year and Administrator of the Year are chosen through a rigorous process by the MAE.