Hendricks Elementary’s Rachel Dutton Named Phenomenal Teacher of the Week

Hendricks Elementary student Haley selected her Target teacher Rachel Dutton as the Phenomenal Friday Teacher of the Week on Aug. 26. Here Haley hugs her teacher Ms. Dutton while standing with fellow students who took part in the morning announcements, the Chick-fil-A cow, recruitment supervisor Tyler Gwynn and Hendricks Principal Patrick O’Connell.

Pups and popsicles combined with a special visit from the Chick-fil-A cow made for some “Happy Huskies” at Hendricks Elementary School Friday, Aug. 26. However, Hendricks teacher Rachel Dutton may have been the happiest Husky when her fifth grade student Haley named her the Phenomenal Teacher of the Week!

Before school started and the Phenomenal Teacher announcement, the students hugged and petted the rescue dogs brought in by Mostly Mutts in recognition of National Dog Day. Tails wagged as the students patted their heads. McEachern High School football players, the Chick-fil-A cow and the rescue pups welcomed the students as they exited cars on Phenomenal Friday.

Learn about what makes the other Phenomenal Friday Teachers of the Week stand out at their schools: http://goo.gl/Eg31Wc

Recruitment supervisor Tyler Gwynn kicked off the school’s morning broadcast by telling the students that this Phenomenal Friday also included frozen treats. In tribute to National Popsicle Day, he brought in popsicles for the students.

All the morning excitement built up to the Phenomenal Teacher of the Week announcement.

Haley revealed her Phenomenal Teacher of the Week pick accompanied by surprise guests from Chick-fil-A and Gwynn. His puppy dog, Ellie tagged along.

“The first thing that came to my mind was how Ms. Dutton helped me have a lot of self-reflection on my life and how much she helped me grow academically,” said Haley. “She is a very kind teacher, and Ms. Dutton has a way of being very sweet and teaching you in a fun way. She pays attention to what you have an interest in, and she tries to incorporate that into what she teaches.”

Dutton’s teaching may inspire Haley to be a better student, but who inspires Dutton? The answer: her student Haley.

“I’m so grateful. I’ve known Haley since she was a first grader, and I’ve seen her grow up and become this phenomenal young lady,” said Dutton. “Honestly, she inspires me to be a better teacher. It makes me want to grow my relationships with my students even more. It makes me so happy to know that I’m making an impact, and that Haley feels that genuine relationship that I do have with her.”

The announcement surprised Dutton, who said she felt overwhelmed by the experience.

“[The Phenomenal Teacher of the Week Award] really shows [Ms. Dutton] that I do care about her and all her students really do care about her,” said Haley. “It shows other teachers that when you believe you can do something great in life, you have to take a chance and hope your students will love you back.”