During the recent Board of Mayor and Aldermen the Germantown Education Commission honored the recipients of the February Teacher of the Month and the Youth Excellence Award.
The February Teacher of the Month award was presented to Dr. Perry Pennington, seventh-grade social studies teacher at Riverdale School. Administrators at Riverdale describe Dr. Pennington as an advocate for students, a true team-player and a dedicated teacher who fosters positive relationships with both students and co-workers. He is a teacher who creates a safe learning environment where all types of learners can succeed and he motivates his students by showing interest in them as individuals.
Riverdale parents describe Dr. Pennington as a great role model for their children who creates a classroom environment that they look forward to attending. Meanwhile, his students praise him for his creative and engaging teaching techniques, particularly his storytelling skills, sense of humor and role-playing activities. In their many nominations, here are just a few things that his students – who often call him “Dr. P” – had to say about him:
“Dr. Pennington genuinely cares about me and my success in his class. I know I can always get individual help from him if I am struggling.”
“Dr. P lets students learn at their own pace and makes learning visual so students understand it better.”
“Dr. P’s teaching style is entertaining and makes me feel comfortable to participate in class discussions.”
“Dr. Pennington is always happy and in the best mood. He is a teacher that I will always remember.”
The February Youth Excellence Award was presented to Emma Johnson, a senior at Houston High School.
Emma is a dedicated student, friend and volunteer who commits herself wholeheartedly to every task, class and activity she undertakes. The nominations for this award describe her as a remarkable person who always has a smile on her face and goes the extra mile in all aspects of her life.
One of the ways Emma supports other students is as a Mustang Mentor, helping incoming freshmen navigate high school. She also has worked extensively with the Horizons Club, which integrates students with special needs with their general education peers. Additionally, she tutors other students in preparing for their ACT tests. Emma also cares about making a positive impact on her community at large. For example, during the height of the pandemic in the summer of 2020, she volunteered with Feed the Frontlines, delivering meals to hospital workers.
In her classes, Emma demonstrates superior academic performance. She is a 2021 AP Scholar, a Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society member and a Beta Club member. She holds a perfect GPA, belongs to the 30+ Club for scoring in the mid-30s on her ACT, and is already earning college credits through five University of Memphis Dual Enrollment courses. Outside of class, as a varsity cheerleader, Emma enthusiastically spreads school spirit and helps younger students learn cheer skills through volunteering at the Houston Kids Cheer Camp.