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For Craig Grimm, teaching is a competition.
“I’m a pretty competitive person,” Grimm, a social studies teacher at North Oldham High School, said. “I want to get the best out of myself and my kids every single day.”
That daily drive is likely one of the reasons Grimm has been named a semifinalist at the high school level for the 2014 Teacher of the Year award.
The award is given annually to one elementary, middle and high school teacher by the Kentucky Department of Education and Ashland, Inc.
Grimm teaches Advanced Placement classes in U.S. Government and Politics and Psychology. He’s also the chair of the social studies department at NOHS and is an assistant coach for the girls track and field team.
To make it to the semifinals, Grimm had to be first named a Teacher Achievement Award winner, a prize given to 24 teachers at all levels every year and sponsored by Ashland, Inc.
Grimm was joined by fellow Oldham County teacher Gina Weber, who teaches at Crestwood Elementary, as one of 24 achievement award winners this year.
“Craig Grimm is a leader at his school,” Oldham County Schools Superintendant Will Wells said. “... He’s an engaging classroom teacher who works hard to challenge his students to think critically and become independent learners.
Three teachers from Oldham County have won a teacher of the year award in the last 25 years: Chandra Emerson in 2008, Anna Yancey in 1999 and Joyce Eckert in 1990.
In order to be named teacher of the year, each teacher must undergo an interview process with a panel of fellow educators that can take up to an hour. And they are also observed teaching one day in their classrooms.
Grimm previously won an achievement award, but being named a semifinalist is the furthest he has advanced in the competition.
Grimm said being named a semifinalist is really more about his students and their talents than him personally. But he does like to push his students in class.
“My big goal is to get everything out of them that I can before they move onto the next level,” Grimm said.
For Grimm, being named a semi-finalist, with a chance to win teacher of the year, has been a “little more special, a little more tense,” than when he won the achievement award.
The teacher of the year winners were named Wednesday after the Era’s publishing deadline.
But Grimm said in an interview before the ceremony regardless of whether he won or not, that he’s relished the opportunity.
Check Oldhamera.com for coverage of whether Grimm was named teacher of the year.
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