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OMS Teacher of the Year

Tammy Kinney, art instructor at Ontario Middle School, was named Teacher of the Year by the Ontario Wal-Mart store. Presenting her with a $1,000 check, a $50 Wal-Mart gift certificate, and a plaque, was William Viers, Ontario store director.

"What an honor," said Kinney, who has been teaching art in the Ontario School District for 14 years. "I love teaching 11 to 14-year-olds because they are going through so much physically, mentally and intellectually that it gives me a chance to use the counseling degree I have as well."

Kinney taught art for two years at McCain Middle School prior to coming back to her hometown of Ontario.

"I had a choice to go to the high school, but my personality fits as a middle school teacher," Kinney said. "I love my kids; sometimes art is the only thing in which some of these kids experience success. I hope I can put that little bit of confidence in them to keep going when failure is all around them. It gives kids a chance to be unique and expressive and most of all to make mistakes because sometimes the worst mistakes make the best piece of art!"

"I like to think that I help kids be unique and expressive, and that making mistakes can be a positive thing," Kinney continued. "I love my job. It is a challenge every day."

Kinney, who now is eligible for state and national honors through Wal-Mart's Teacher of the Year program, added, "My students have "taught me a lot in 16 years!"