Darras is Titans Teacher of Week

A Battle Academy physical education teacher is the Teacher of the Week for week five of the Tennessee Titans 2013 football season.

Chris Darras, who has taught at Battle for seven years, is the first teacher from the Tennessee Valley to win the honor this season.

The weekly recognition is sponsored by American Paper & Twine Co., Titans Radio and Georgia-Pacific Communications Paper.

Darras will receive a $400 gift basket of classroom supplies. In addition, he will be recognized during the radio broadcast of this week's Titans-Seahawks game.

"Chris 'Coach D' is highly respected both by his colleagues and his students. So much of what Chris does for our school and his students is behind the scenes," said music teacher Elizabeth Brackin, who nominated Darras. "He is an excellent role model. He has the ability to see what needs to be done and does it, usually without being asked and without anyone's knowledge."

At the end of the Titans' season, a Teacher of the Year will be chosen.

Celebrating summer internships

Thirty-one Hamilton County teachers were awarded fellowship grants to design their own professional development experience. Last week, teachers shared how those experiences will affect their classrooms.

The Fund for Teachers, in collaboration with Public Education Foundation, awarded $98,000 in grants to the teachers, a news release stated. The teachers who received the fellowships traveled to nine countries: Greece, Italy, France, Kenya, Spain, Portugal, North Africa, Costa Rica and Guatemala, as well as the following U.S. cities: New York City; Washington, D.C.; San Diego; San Antonio; Savannah, Ga.; and Seattle. Many of the grantees are teams of teachers from multiple schools across Hamilton County, according to the news release.

Here are the trips each team took:

• Hardy Elementary teachers Brittany Harris and Mauriska Munroe went to San Antonio.

• Spring Creek Elementary teacher Jennifer Hartley and Wallace A. Smith Elementary teacher Leigh Bain went to New York and Washington, D.C.

• Normal Park Museum Magnet teachers Beth McCoy, Jennifer Zeigler, Heather O'Brien and Amanda Lafferty visited Costa Rica.

• Hunter Middle teachers Christy Baker, Jami Standridge, Brenda Holmes, Jill Smith and Jessica Carlton went to Columbia University in New York City.

• Normal Park Museum Magnet teacher Trey Joyner traveled from Savannah to Seattle.

• Loftis Middle teacher Ann Souza went to Guatemala.

• CSAS teachers Debra Tucker, Jennifer Raulston, Kawanna Potier, Erin Bas, Daniel Morgan and Jessica Ulloa visited San Diego.

• Red Bank High teacher Nozipho Moyo and Hixson High teacher Maika Turner went to Spain, Portugal and North Africa.

• CSLA teachers Ann-Marie Blentlinger and Karen West visited Kenya.

• Ooltewah High teachers Andrea McGuirt and Heather McIntyre traveled to France and Italy.

• Apison Elementary teacher Vinnie Taneja and Ooltewah Middle School teacher Elizabeth Zachau went to Costa Rica.

• Ivy Academy teacher Bryan Phillips and Red Bank High teacher Chuck Jones traveled to Greece and Italy.