Baker Place Elementary School’s Katie Holmes was named the Columbia County School system’s Teacher of the Year Thursday night during a banquet at West Lake Country Club.
Holmes, an educator for five years, gave much credit to those surrounding her in the school system.
“I work with so many great educators,” the first-grade teacher said.
Holmes is the first Teacher of the Year from Baker Place Elementary in the school’s first year of eligibility in the county-wide program.
For her accomplishments, Holmes won several prizes that included $500, a one-year lease for a new Mercedes-Benz C250 and multiple gift cards.
Holmes is now eligible to become the Georgia Teacher of the Year. Finalists for the state honor will be named in February and a winner chosen in May.
Holmes was among five finalists nominated by a panel of educators from outside the school system.
The four other finalists were Lakeside High School history teacher Norm Cox, River Ridge Elementary School third-grade teacher Mandy Guley, Stevens Creek Elementary School third-grade teacher Angie McDaniel and Greenbrier High School science teacher Barry O’Neill.
Each district finalist received $300, an iPad 2 and other prizes.
Jennifer Pressley of Brookwood Elementary School was recognized as the county’s Media Specialist of the Year.
Pressley received $300, a Hewlett-Packard computer and two subscriptions for Symphony Orchestra Augusta’s Pops at the Bell concerts.
The school system also honored 27 other Teachers of the Year from each county public school. They each received $150.
Thursday’s banquet and the prizes were donated by the school system’s business partners.
Since 1988, Columbia County has produced eight state Teacher of the Year finalists.