Librarian wins top teacher award
Lansing At last Thursday's Senior Awards Night, Lansing High School librarian Debra Hutton promised the audience she was done crying when she gave out the Kay awards. However, she couldn't contain her tears when she was announced LHS Teacher of the Year.
LHS Principal Steve Dike said recognizing the Teacher of the Year was a tradition that started at least 10 years ago. A committee of faculty and staff chooses the recipient, he said.
Dike said Hutton's commitment to the school's students and faculty stood out among this year's candidates.
"She's one of the first people here and the last one to leave," Dike said of Hutton. "She just bends over backwards for everyone involved."
Hutton said she was surprised and touched to receive the award. One of the biggest surprises, she said, was that the people around her who knew were able to keep the secret.
"There are lots of people who didn't tell me because evidently lots of people knew," she said.
One of those who kept the secret was library aide and senior Rachel Trowbridge, who announced Hutton as the award winner. Hutton said she was glad to receive the award from Trowbridge, whom Hutton had known since Trowbridge's freshman year.
"She's a sweetie," Hutton said.
Trowbridge presented Hutton with a ring to commemorate the honor. Dike said the ring was donated by Jostens, a company that makes class rings.
Hutton said she loved her ring, which says "Teacher of the Year."
"I haven't taken it off yet," she said.
Hutton has been the LHS librarian for five years. She said that although she had always wanted to be a librarian, this was her first job in the position. She worked at a telephone company before returning to school to earn an undergraduate degree in ancient history and her master's degree in library science, she said.
Hutton said she originally wanted to be an archivist but a teacher she met in graduate school influenced her to change her direction - she decided to get her teaching certificate and work at a school instead. When she was student-teaching at Piper High School, she said people would ask her where she wanted to work. She said she often replied "somewhere like Lansing" because she was from the area and knew the school's reputation.
The librarian position at LHS came open about the same time as she received her teaching certificate, so she applied and got the job.
"I've loved it ever since," she said. "So I guess in some ways it's my dream job."
Hutton said she hoped to continue working in Lansing until her retirement.
"They'll have to pry me out of the chair," she said. "I truly love it here."