Pictured are the six finalists for the CBC Shining Light Teacher Award (holding the baskets), the CBC president and vice president; and school administration for St. Stephen, Bell Shoals and Livingstone.

For the second consecutive year, Christian Business Connections (CBC) has sponsored the Shining Light Teacher Award, which acknowledges exemplary performance in Christian education. Six finalists from three Christian schools were selected.

The CBC is a business networking organization devoted to Christian values. The group promotes growth for its members, both spiritually and in their businesses, while enriching the local community.

Its Shining Light Teacher Award is based on the verses from Titus 2:7-8 and recognizes the educator’s leadership, commitment and academic excellence.

“It is amazing to see how much this award has grown in only a year,” said Ryan Hughes, president of the CBC. “ The caliber of the teachers and the involvement of the schools has been phenomenal.”

Hughes continued, “These teachers were selected by their peers, and it is clear to see why they were nominated. They are all shining examples to their community.”

After receiving the submissions, teacher interviews were conducted from April 25 to 27. Barbara Kemp, the membership chair of CBC expounded on the evaluation process. She noted that the judging committee also takes into consideration parent and student stories submitted through its website.

On May 14, the CBC honored each of the six finalists with a special breakfast and gift baskets. Maria Hoffmann from St. Stephen Catholic School was announced as the overall winner. A trophy will be formally presented to Hoffman at her school in front of faculty, students and parents.

For 16 years, Hoffman has been associated with St. Stephen Catholic School. She is a first-grade teacher for Math, Science, Social Studies and Religion. Her community involvement includes leadership roles in 4-H, school summer camps, children liturgy groups and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

The other finalists were Barbara Perkins (kindergarten), Christy Peters (third grade) and Tammy Perkins (fifth grade for Language Arts and Bible) from Bell Shoals Baptist Academy; Amy Caldwell (kindergarten for intellectual disabilities) from Livingstone Academy; and Julianne Gonzalez (K-8 Art and Religion) from St. Stephen Catholic School.

To read the full bios of all the finalists, visit www.christianbusinessconnections.com.

To find out how your school can participate, please email ShiningLight@christianbusinessconnections.com. The CBC meets every Monday from 8-9:15 a.m. at the Golden Corral in Brandon.

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Amanda Boston is the Christian Voice Editor for the Osprey Observer. She is a graduate of Bible Training for Church Leaders (BTCL), who enjoys sharing how God is working in and through the community. Amanda resides in FishHawk with her husband and two children.