Teachers of the YearHoltville Middle School announced that Jonathan Carlisle and Sue Mercer were chosen by their colleagues as Teachers of the Year.

HMS announces Teachers of the Year

Published 5:36pm Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Carlisle is in his first year at HMS, but he is not a stranger to Elmore County Schools.
“I graduated from Auburn University Montgomery in 2001,” he said. “After graduation I accepted the 8th grade history position at Wetumpka Junior High School.
“I completed my master’s degree at AUM in the summer of 2007. It was at that time that I was asked to serve as chairperson of the Building Leadership Team. As chairperson, I was heavily involved in the school improvement process from 2007-2012.
“I have been head coach of the Wetumpka Junior High football and basketball teams as well as an assistant baseball coach. There have been many clubs that I have sponsored over the years, including outdoors and golf. I have also led student council trips to San Francisco, the Grand Canyon, Washington D.C. and New York City.”
Carlisle is also no stranger to the Holtville community. He and his wife, Brandi, live in the area; and their son, Jack, is in first grade at Holtville Elementary.
When asked about returning to teach in the community where he attended school as a child, he said “I feel as though I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing school. Although I have only been at HMS for a short time, I realize that I work with remarkable teachers and administrators who serve our students diligently. Moreover, I am eager to begin playing my role as part of this exceptional team.”
Mercer was chosen to represent the fifth grade faculty. Like Carlisle, she is no stranger to the Holtville community.
As the daughter of John C. Whatley, former principal of Holtville High School and former superintendent of Elmore County Schools, Mercer grew up in a home right next door to Holtville High School. She laughs when she tells of her father having her climb through classroom windows to turn off lights left on by teachers.
Mercer has been with Elmore County Schools since 1987, and she has taught in the Holtville community since 1993.
Not only was her father an Elmore County educator, but her mother retired after serving as a home ec teacher and guidance counselor. Her older sister, Gaye Beck, teaches at Holtville Elementary, and her brother-in-law, Coach Billy Beck, retired from Elmore County Schools.
“And now we have another generation of my family teaching in Elmore County,” she said. “My daughter, Kendall Mercer Christakos, is teaching math at Wetumpka High School.”
Mercer has embraced many of the extra responsibilities that teachers are often asked to take on. She has sponsored groups such as the yearbook and student council. She also served as cheer coach and is very active with the Twenty-first Century Community Learning Center hosted each afternoon at Holtville Middle School.
Like Carlisle, she, too, has shared her expertise by serving as chairperson of the Building Leadership Team.

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