2018-2019 Teachers of the Year

Commerce Primary School Teacher of the Year -  Mrs. Tina West

Mrs. West earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Phoenix in 2017.  She has been a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher at CPS since 2017.  Prior to working as a teacher, Mrs. West worked as a special education paraprofessional for four years at Commerce Primary and Commerce Elementary. 
 
In Mrs. West’s philosophy of teaching, she states, “Teaching is not merely my passion, it’s my purpose.”  When people say to Mrs. West, “I don’t know how you do it.”  Her response is, “I don’t know how I could NOT do it.”

Mrs. West is married to Kasey West, and they have two children, Benjamin (2nd grade at CPS) and Fischer (5th grade at CMS).

Commerce Elementary School Teacher of the Year  -  Mrs. Kayla Smith

In 2007, Mrs. Smith earned her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (graduating Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Georgia.  Also, in 2007, Mrs. Smith earned her math endorsement from the University of Georgia.  In 2011, she earned a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology from Georgia Southern University.  

Mrs. Smith began her teaching career at Jefferson Elementary School from 2007-2014.  She began teaching at Commerce Elementary School in 2016. While teaching at Commerce Elementary, Mrs. Smith has served on the Leadership Team and the School Governance Team.  Mrs. Smith has also served as a mentor for other teachers on behavior management.  Mrs. Smith’s fourth grade ELA class was selected to do the Twitter Takeover for the Georgia Department of Education in ELA.  Mrs. Smith coaches the JV and Varsity Cheerleaders at CHS.

Mrs. Smith is married to Charlie Smith and they have twin girls, Ceily and Charlsey (preK students at CPS).

Commerce Middle School Teacher of the Year -  Mrs. Kate Bertram

Mrs. Bertram earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Colgate University in 1999.  She earned her certification in Early Childhood Education from Penn State University in 2002.  In 2010, Mrs. Bertram earned a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science:  Fitness & Health Promotion from Georgia State University.  

Mrs. Bertram began her teaching career in grades 1 and 3 working with DeKalb County Schools.  From 2003-2008, she taught grades 1, 4, and 5 as an intervention teacher with DeKalb County Schools.  From 2008-2010, Mrs. Bertram was a substitute teacher and tutor from Walton County Schools.  From 2010-2015, she was a teacher trainer; project coordinator/health educator for HealthMPowers.  Mrs. Bertram taught fourth grade for Clarke County Schools from 2015-2017.  She began teaching sixth grade at Commerce Middle School in 2017.  During this school year, Mrs. Bertram teaches fifth grade math at CMS.  

During her teaching career, Mrs. Bertram has served as a Math PLC member, student mentor, middle school soccer coach, winter break intervention teacher, and Tanger 5K Middle School Team Captain.  In 2013, Mrs. Bertram received the BOKS Champion of Change Award.

Mrs. Bertram is married to Kyle, and they currently reside in Monroe.


Commerce High School Teacher of the Year - Mrs. Cherri Mullis

Mrs. Mullis earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Georgia in 1995.  In 1998, she earned her Master’s Degree in Secondary Science from Piedmont College.  In 2011, Mrs. Mullis earned her Specialist Degree in Teaching and Learning from Piedmont College.  In 2003, she earned her gifted endorsement from Pioneer RESA.  In 2015, she earned her ESOL endorsement through the GECAT program.

Her teaching experience includes working at the Elachee Nature Center as an Educational Naturalist from 1998-1999.  Mrs. Mullis taught science at Gainesville Middle School from 1999-2015.  She has been teaching science at CHS since 2015.  During her teaching tenure in Gainesville, she served on the School Governance Team and as the Gifted Coordinator.  While teaching at Commerce High School, she has served on the Social Committee and as the Key Club Advisor.  In 2004, Mrs. Mullis was named Teacher of the Year at Gainesville Middle School.  In 2007, she was named as the Science Teacher of the Year by the North Georgia Youth Science & Technology Center for the Pioneer RESA District.  In 2015, Mrs. Mullis was in the top 10% in the District for Highest Growth on the Georgia Milestones.  

Mrs. Mullis is married to John, and they have two daughters, Savannah (2016 CHS Graduate), and Lily (5th grader at CMS).