Midlothian High School is home to a coterie of many dedicated, kind, and passionate teachers; each coming to work each day determined to guide their classes to reach their full potential. Each year, each teacher nominates one colleague whom they believe deserves the honor of Midlo Teacher of the Year. A committee comprised of previous Teachers of the Year considers all of the nominations and recognizes one teacher who particularly stands out as Midlo’s Teacher of the Year.
Mrs. Jackie Tully, who teaches AP Literature, Midlo Scoop, and Service Learning earned the 2019 distinction of Midlothian High School Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Tully is truly deserving of this esteemed title; she cares about her students and never declines an opportunity to help. Senior Haley Hopkins positively remarks on Mrs. Tully’s “enthusiasm and loving manner,” which make her Hopkins’ favorite teacher, but this is only a small part of what makes her a fantastic role model for teachers everywhere.
On Monday, May 7, 2018, teachers and faculty gathered in the Midlothian High School Library to receive the announcement of the winning teacher. Along with Mrs. Tully, some of her family joined her in celebrating this accomplishment, such as: her husband Chris Tully, her son, third year UVA student Nick Tully, her daughter Sophie Tully, who attends Cosby High School, her sister Tammy, her mother-in-law Joyce, her best friend and former Midlo English teacher Jen Krievs, and her mentor Suzanne Bristow. To begin the event, the 2018 Midlo Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Regina Warriner, announced the new recipient to the audience of teachers, faculty, and family.
Mrs. Tully delivered a speech following Mrs. Warriner’s announcement, and throughout the speech, she showed her determination and spark as a teacher, sharing, “I planned to be the first person in my family to graduate from college, and nothing was going to stand in the way of my dreams. I worked as a waitress and a bartender throughout college to support myself, and once I held that diploma in my hand, I knew that I would never settle, and that when I set my mind to it, I could achieve anything.” From a young age, Mrs. Tully developed a fascination with reading, and as she grew older, that fascination turned into a desired career path, and she did everything she could to make that desire a reality. She shows this hard-working attitude in her everyday life as a teacher, never settling for anything less than what she believes her students can accomplish, and because of this, many writers have learned to thrive in her class. In the classroom, she shows students that when they put their full effort toward something, they can achieve it.
Mrs. Tully added, “My husband always says that people just want to be HEARD; that’s true, but I think they also want to be SEEN. Take the time to really SEE and HEAR your students. If they believe that you truly care about them, they will do anything for you.” Mrs. Tully has a way of reaching her students, and that is part of the reason she received this award. She makes her students feel “seen” and “heard,” which is why she proudly bears this accomplishment.
Still basking in the honor of receiving Midlo Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Tully received another surprise on May 11, 2018, when a large contingency of CCPS dignitaries, including: CCPS Superintendent Dr. James F. Lane, Chesterfield School Board Member Mrs. Dianne Smith, CCPS Chief Academic Officer Dr. Thomas Taylor, and many more, joined Midlo Principal Shawn Abel and Mr. Tully and walked through the school and down the English hall, bearing flowers, balloons, a cake, and a huge banner announcing her newest honor: 2019 Chesterfield County Public Schools High School Teacher of the Year. The surprise brought a huge smile to Mrs. Tully’s face, especially as the visiting Chesterfield employees spoke about her accomplishments and revealed the award. Of these two tremendous awards of recognition, Mrs. Tully shared, “I am honored to represent Midlothian and all of my other high school colleagues. I truly love my students and believe I have the best job in the world. Teaching is definitely a calling, and I commend all of the hardworking teachers in Chesterfield who are making a difference in the lives of children each and every day.”
Congratulations on this extreme honor, Mrs. Tully!
Here are a few comments from Midlo colleagues, as well as current and past students regarding Mrs. Tully and her impact:
“Ms. Tully is the consummate professional, dedicated and diligent in helping students to maximize their potential. She holds her students to very high standards while holding herself to an even higher standard. Ms. Tully certainly embodies Midlothian High School’s brand as a Community of Excellence.” – Mr. Shawn Abel, Midlothian High School Principal
“Ms. Tully has made an incredible impact on the Midlothian High School, feeder schools, and the community in general. She impacts Midlo students as they learn to analyze, argue, and write in her AP Lit class. She impacts students as she guides service learners who will then shape young minds in middle and elementary schools. She serves the Midlo community in general with her journalism students, capturing and celebrating the varied events and opportunities in which students engage. Ms. Tully gives her heart to the students and the school, and her recognition as CCPS’ High School Teacher of the Year could not be more deserved!” – Mrs. Melissa Hill, Midlothian High School Dean of Students
“Mrs. Tully is an exceptional teacher. She gives her students honest, constructive feedback on their writing, and she never settles for mediocrity from her students. She pushes them to be better writers. She is very dedicated and hardworking. Her own children are all incredibly successful people, and I’m sure she pushed them to be the best they could be as she does her students. Mrs. Tully will always be a role model teacher to me at Midlo.” – Mrs. Carolyn Manheim, Business & Marketing Teacher
“I don’t think words can do justice to the teacher Mrs. Tully is. She’s been my mentor, my colleague, and my friend. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.” – Mr. Tim Johnson, Government and Yearbook Teacher
“Mrs. Tully is easily one of the greatest teachers I have ever had. She not only values the educational experience of her students, but she also values each and every one of them as human beings in her class. She invests in our education and invests in our well being and wants the absolute best for us in the future. Having her as a teacher has changed my life for the better because it taught me how to value others and the things that are important to them. For that, I am grateful that Mrs. Tully is receiving this award because she single-handedly has influenced and bettered my educational experience and my life as a whole.” – Malcolm Stewart, UVA Senior Class President and Midlo alum
“Mrs. Tully is one of the teachers that has shaped me the most. She helped me improve my writing and leadership skills.” – Emily Junkmann, JMU student and Midlo alum
“My senior year wouldn’t have been the same without Mrs. Tully. After I had her for 10th grade English, I knew I had to take classes with her every year from then on. She was a shoulder to lean on and one of my favorite teachers ever.” – Ellen Tucker, Longwood student and Midlo alum
“Mrs. Tully is a very energetic and radiant teacher, and she makes the classroom environment more exciting. She makes projects like our PBL and our literary rocks very fun and creative.” – Joy Li, Midlo senior
“From the bottom of my heart, Mrs. Tully is one of the most qualified and most deserving of this award; she has worked diligently and arduously on the Midlo Scoop and Service Learning, while teaching her AP students to pass their exams in the best way possible. In all honesty, she deserves not only this award, but every ounce of respect from everyone around her.” – Nabiha Rais, Midlo junior
“Sitting in Mrs. Tully’s journalism class has been one of the best experiences of my life. She is super-upbeat and always wears a huge smile. This award could not have gone to a more deserving teacher than Mrs. Tully!” – Katherine Krievs, Midlo freshman