Our January recipient was nominated for her passion and love for learning. Ms. Coates spends money from her own pocket to put together a science lab each Friday, plus she devotes hours tutoring her students and mentoring new teachers.
Coates actually had left the classroom to go into administration. When her position was cut in the private sector, she knew exactly who to call.
"I wasn't afraid to go back to the classroom. This is where I started. This is where my love is," said Coates. "So, I literally called on the phone and said, 'Richmond are you hiring?' and they're like, 'Come in tomorrow for an interview.' It was a Friday interview and I started on Monday."
Nominations for the award are accepted on a rolling basis and the honoree is named by a panel of judges.