Pulling out a sheet of paper from a white envelope, Kim Holland started to read the name of the Ardmore City Schools 2018 Teacher of the Year.
The ACS district gathered Thursday night for a celebration of teachers, support staff and a year of education at the annual staff appreciation dinner. Awards for years of teaching service, support staff recognitions and door prizes were awarded in a fun night of celebration.
“We have a lot to be proud of and celebrate tonight,” Holland, ACS superintendent, said.
The group spent the first hour of the celebration enjoying a meal together and fellowshipping with one another. Each table, separated by each school site, was decorated with extravagant displays and creative themes as the sites vied for bragging rights for the most decorated table.
Following a short video presentation, Holland and Jill Day, ACS assistant superintendent, began handing out awards. After recognitions and a collection of door prize announcements, one final award remained: Teacher of the Year.
Each site’s Teacher of the Year was recognized before the announcement. The three finalists (Robin Spriggs, Kim Beard and Donna Blackmon) each come from elementary schools in the district, representing Jefferson Elementary, Lincoln Elementary and Will Roger Elementary, respectively.
Anxiously, the three finalists waited with their fellow teachers to see if their name  would be called.
After a momentary pause, Holland read the name of the award recipient.
“The Ardmore City Schools 2018 Teacher of the Year…Kim Beard,” Holland said.
With the announcement came a roaring applause, with Beard’s fellow teachers swarming her with hugs and congratulations. Beard was overcome with emotions as she tearfully hugged Day and stepped up to the podium, her award in hand.
“I just want to say wow,” she said through tears. “I know my Lincoln family knows this when they chose me to be the Lincoln teacher of the year I was shocked. At Lincoln I work with some amazing teachers and I was just blown away that they chose me.”
Beard applauded the other site Teachers of the Year, telling them she knows what their work and effort means to their students and the district.
“All six of you are outstanding educators,” she said. “Each of you deserves to have this award as much as I do if not more.”
To end her speech, Beard offered thanks to the individuals in her life that got her to this point.
“I have to thank my Lincoln family for giving me this. I have to thank the committee for giving me this. And I have to thank my family,” she said. “My husband and my daughter and my mom for their love and their support.
“I know my husband and daughter has been there many times when, as you teachers know, grading papers has to come first sometimes above family. But they’ve never cried and they’ve never complained and they’ve always been there. Thank you. I love you guys.”