The 2008-2009 Navarro College Teaching Excellence Awards were announced at the 2009 graduation ceremonies May 9.

Mike Prim was selected to be the recipient in the professor category. He has served as an English instructor since 1985 on the Corsicana campus.

With the award, Prim also received a $5,000 check, a plaque and $2,500 to be used at his discretion on scholarships or instructional equipment for the department in which he works.

In the associate/assistant professor category, James Teeter was selected. He has served as an instructor on the Waxahachie campus since 2007. With the award, Teeter received a check for $2,500.

In the professor category, Rita Marie O’Brien, Mary Lou Percy and Prim were chosen as finalists. The finalists for the associate/assistant professor category were Beverly Pearson, Suzann Spaniel and James Teeter.

“The Navarro College Foundation is pleased to acknowledge the outstanding work done by faculty,” said Dr. Tommy Stringer, vice president of institutional advancement and director of the Navarro College Foundation. “They are the heart of the institution, as you impact the lives of students, serve the institution, support your colleagues and represent the college in the community.”

To acknowledge the important role that faculty play in the life of the college, the Navarro College Foundation established the Teaching Excellence Awards. Faculty, administrators and current and former students were asked to nominate a faculty member who has excelled in his/her service to students, colleagues, and the institution.

According to Stringer, the most rewarding honor a teacher can receive is to be recognized by peers and students. Nominators and supporters were asked to consider the following criteria for recipients of the Teaching Excellence Awards:

Effective teachers are organized, but sometimes the best learning experiences are unplanned.

Teachers care about their subject matter and they care about their students both in and out of the classroom, helping them reach their academic and life goals.

Teachers encourage students to think and understand, not merely memorize.

Teachers are people of integrity who demonstrate fairness and live by high ethical standards.

Great teachers are lifelong learners, continually seeking to expand their own knowledge.

Comments about Prim from former students:

“Mr. Prim is not only an enthusiastic and effective instructor, but one who teaches students to observe, be objective, and form their own thoughts and conclusions. Classes are not normal rote memorization of information for tests, but eye-opening experiences. Mr. Prim has been one of my most memorable instructors in all of my college experience and is absolutely at the top of my list of instructors I would recommend to other students to take courses from. I would consider it a great loss to have missed out on the experience I received by having Mr. Prim.”

“I never had a professor who interacted so well with students, both inside and outside the classroom.” 

Comment about Prim from a colleague: “Mike epitomizes excellence – one who is willing to share expertise with his colleagues.”

Comments about Teeter from colleagues:

“James is not only an outstanding teacher but a lifelong learner, always reaching for more knowledge and information. He is passionate about teaching and his desire for students to succeed is contagious.”

“I will strive to be a positive influence and role model for my students while teaching them to be the very best they can be, as demonstrated by James. My desire to teach has been elevated to a higher level because of his positive influence in the classroom, his encouragement, and his optimism. James is the kind of teacher you look back on as a student and remember for the impact he made.” 

Comments about Teeter from a student: “I am going to be a teacher myself and I can only hope to be as wonderful teacher as Mr. Teeter.”