Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Buford High School math teacher Lynn Shumock is congratulated by members of the Buford City Schools' central office, along with principal Banks Bitterman, after she was suprised to learn she was named teacher of the year for the system on Wednesday afternoon.
BUFORD -- For Lynn Shumock, teaching math isn't rocket science.
The Buford High School teacher should know.
A former NASA engineer and scientist, Shumock was named the districtwide 2012 Teacher of the Year Wednesday for Buford City Schools.
Superintendent Geye Hamby spoke highly of Shumock and three other top educators Wednesday during a special breakfast for the system's new Teachers of the Year.
"Our teacher of the year candidates are stellar this year," Hamby said. "We appreciate what all four of you do on a daily basis, and we appreciate the support our administrators give you."
Administrator Banks Bitterman, Buford High School's principal, spoke highly of Shumock, a math II teacher.
"I actually have a rocket scientist at the high school," said Bitterman, laughing. "Let me tell you, she is one phenomenal teacher."
Shumock, who has taught at the school for four years, previously worked at the Johnson Space Center in Houston during the 1980s and 90s.
She said the key to teaching students is "getting to know them. It's really critical to find some way to connect with them on a personal level. Every single one of them individually. If you're respectful to them, they'll be respectful to you."
Kari Neal was Buford Elementary's teacher of the year. She teaches art at the elementary school, and this is her fourth year teaching. She is currently working on her specialist degree.
Carrie Davis is Buford Academy's Teacher of the Year. She teaches fifth grade, and she's been at the school for seven years.
Gary McCroskey was the selection for Buford Middle School's Teacher of the Year. McCroskey is a longtime physical education teacher at the school.
Shumock was selected among the group by a committee of teachers.