Watertown High School Spanish teacher Michael Del Bosco, who has worked for Wilson County Schools for 17 years, was named the 2019-20 Teacher of the Year last Friday night.

The annual event hosted by Wilson County Motors and CedarStone Bank honoring teachers from schools in Wilson County, was held at Cumberland University’s Baird Chapel. The event is usually held in the spring but was delayed by COVID-19 precautions.

Del Bosco received a check for $2,000 and an engraved crystal vase, an engraved crystal plaque and a framed certificate.

He said he also received “the honor and privilege of winning for all the hard work that I’ve done through my years of teaching and for the town and the high school of Watertown. I’m so happy to win for Watertown.”

Watertown High School receives a check for $500 in Del Bosco’s honor.

Del Bosco said he had “many feelings about it. Shock. Surprise. Elation. Pride. Happiness. It’s still a bit unreal. I can’t believe that I won. I know that I put a lot of hard work into the application this year. I know that I’ve put in a lot of work and effort into teaching overall, but it is worth it for the kids.”

He said at first, he didn’t recognize the words on the application that Cumberland University President Dr. Paul Stumb “was reading and quoting. I slowly figured it was me. For each letter’s quote, I became more and more sure. Those sounded like my principal’s letter of recommendation. That sounded like my colleague’s letter. Then, the parent and the student letters, I knew.

“I knew which parent and which student had said that about me. Then, the remaining details about my education and career just confirmed it. I knew it was me. ‘I had finally done it,’ I was thinking. This is really me that they picked. Unbelievable. I was proud and teary eyed. It was so wonderful to hear all the kind words from all my letters of recommendation and from my wife read in front of everyone.”

The graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin has been a teacher for 21 years. He taught one year at Columbia Central High School, then three years at Dresden High School. He then taught at Lebanon High School for 14 years.

“Now, I’m at the great school of Watertown High School,” he said. “I’ve been there for the last three years. I’ve taught Spanish 1, 2, and 3, all regular and honors levels. I’ve also taught ACT prep at all of these schools besides Columbia.

“I enjoy teaching all of these subjects. I actually was Teacher of the Year at LHS back in 2015-2016. So, it was a double honor to get it at WHS this past year. I felt respected at both schools by the students and the faculties. That makes this job so worth it. I learned from my first experience at LHS, so I tried to make my essay and application better to win this time, and it worked.”

The nominees fill out an application package that includes listing their education, professional experience, honors achieved in teaching, professional activities and organizations, community activities and their philosophy of teaching.

CedarStone Bank President and CEO Bob McDonald said, “we look forward to the annual Teacher of the Year banquet because we celebrate and recognize teachers and teaching. For 22 years we have been honoring Wilson County’s great asset, our teachers.  We can all be proud of this year’s Teachers of the Year from the 29 schools across the Wilson County. Our future generation of leaders are in good hands.”

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