Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School English teacher Traci McCracken is now listed in the Unum Teacher's Hall of Fame "Starting 9" along with eight other inductees for the 2010-2011 school year.
She will be recognized with a $500 check and a jersey with her nickname, "TMAC," presented to her at the Chattanooga Lookouts game May 6 before she throws out the ceremonial pitch.
"They look for the best of the best," LFO principal Terri Vandiver said of the Hall of Fame designation. "Ms. McCracken was chosen because of her effectiveness in the classroom. We are honored to have her represent LFO as one of the Starting 9."
"It means just as much to me that my administrators nominated me as it does that I actually won," said McCracken, who serves as a ninth-grade English teacher, ninth-grade lead teacher on the Renaissance Committee and the school's gifted coordinator.
She is currently helping raise funds for the school's Relay for Life event scheduled for April 29.
"Students and teachers have friends and family affected by cancer, so it hits home," she said. "Social studies teacher Ms. Zipp, Spanish teacher Ms. Debi Stone, nurse Jackie Harris and guidance counselor Jeff Fletcher are all cancer survivors."
She said the school has raised $3,000 so far. To donate, call the school at (706) 866-0342.
"You have to let the kids know you are a real person or they will never be receptive to you," McCracken said, sharing some of the hard-earned insight she plans to include in a book one day for those studying to become teachers. "Kids won't learn if they don't know you care."
McCracken said she loves to read and write in general and that translates into her passion to teach English. She said it is important to become a lifelong learner and to think about and analyze literature like Shakespeare.
McCracken has a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She began teaching in 1994 and has taught at LFO for 11 years. Dhr spent seven years as a director of Sylvan Learning Center.