Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 22, 2014

Teacher honor really ‘awesome’

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — An award that’s really kind of “awesome” was given Monday as Pauls Valley’s district teacher of the year was named at a special gathering.

Standing on the stage of the local junior high’s newly remodeled auditorium, it was PV’s school band director Drew Etheredge who received the top honor for the current 2013-2014 year.

“It’s awesome to be the choice for his award,” Etheredge said.

“I’m very surprised,” he said. “It’s not something I expected, and I’m very humbled.

“All of them are really good teachers, and it means a lot for me to receive this honor by my peers.”

Etheredge is among the five teachers of the year named at each of the local schools. He is this year’s honoree for Pauls Valley High School

Others are Ainslee Davis at Jefferson Early Learning Center, Charla Forrester at Jackson Elementary, Sandra Alexander at Lee Elementary and Churee Chaffin at the junior high.

All but Davis were able to attend the ceremonies that included a photo presentation on some of the renovation projects recently completed because of a school bond issue passed by voters in 2012.

With no classes or students on Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, teachers later went into separate groups for workshops.

Before they did Etheredge offered even more of his thoughts after being named as Pauls Valley’s teacher of the year.

“Anyone in here really never knows the impact they have on their students, but we do have an impact,” he said. “Years from now we’ll look back and truly see the impact we’ve had.

“We’re all the unsung heroes.”

Etheredge was also quick to give thanks to the many people who offer their support to him.

“My parents are both career teachers. I know how hard they worked and how hard all of us work,” Etheredge said.

“I definitely don’t work alone. I get to work with Mr. Winkle, and my dad helps me out. I’m very fortunate to have him here.

“And I’ve got great kids. It’s a blessing to have what I get with all this support.”

Etheredge has spent all nine years of his teaching career here in Pauls Valley.

He served as the assistant band director for five years under longtime friend and mentor, the late Stan Stevenson. Etheredge was appointed to the director’s position in 2009.

A 1999 graduate of Ardmore High School, Etheredge graduated in 2004 from the University of Oklahoma with bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education.

During that time he was a member of the “Pride of Oklahoma” marching band, showmen band at basketball games and concert and jazz bands.''