Eighth-grade science teacher Dr. Kelly Heaton has been selected as Damascus Middle School’s Teacher of the Year! Heaton’s career includes teaching elementary and middle school math and science, as well as middle school English. She is currently in her sixth year of teaching at DMS and also serves as the Yearbook sponsor. Heaton is a student herself, having recently completed her Educational Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. She is constantly learning through various professional development activities, including PBL 101, PBL Coaching, and Schoology, in order to improve her own teaching and support her colleagues. Her master’s degree in educational leadership has opened a new role for her this year, as she has served as administrator when Principal Kevin Worley is out of the building. In the classroom, Heaton recognizes that things taking place in the lives of students often cause their attention to be divided, noting that “As a middle school teacher, I am always working to overcome these internal and external distractions.” She strives to develop relationships with her students, attending sports and other extracurricular events, so that she has a better understanding of their lives. She seeks to provide lessons for her students based on a “holistic approach that caters to their learning styles, interests, and worldview.” Her goal is to help students “connect complicated science concepts to real-world applications,” and she has been successful! Congratulations to Dr. Heaton!