Work in progress

Young Andrew Ham gets a hello from Jody Buzier, left, after he ran to his mother, Katrina Ham, follo Photo available for purchase

Young Andrew Ham gets a hello from Jody Buzier, left, after he ran to his mother, Katrina Ham, following the Teacher of the Year announcement

David Adlerstein
Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 12:59 PM.

Franklin County third grade teacher Katrina Ham is making a colorful splash with her students, and for that feat she was named ‘Teacher of the Year’ at a banquet Monday night.

For her first nine years in the district, initially at Brown Elementary straight out of Florida State, she taught strictly first graders.

Until this year, when she was tasked to teach third grade for the first time.

“It was a blank canvas,” she said, in remarks following Superintendent Nina Marks’ opening of the envelope that had in it whether this highest honor would go to Ham, middle school science teacher Spencer Tolbert or high school English teacher Sherry Joyner.

“I thought ‘What am I going to do?’” said Ham, as she set about bringing to life, a decade into her career, the portrait of learning cast by 8 and 9-year-old children as they think in the clasp of a teacher’s firm gaze.

It was like applying paint, she said, and the art of making what others may see as mere messy spatters on canvas, and may wonder “what in the world?”

But once completed, then the artist proclaims ‘Now, look at my masterpiece” and the successful image falls in place, Ham said.



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