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Columbia County Teachers of the Year

Posted: October 5, 2011 - 10:50am  |  Updated: October 5, 2011 - 10:56am
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Shannon Quattlebaum - North Columbia Elementary School
  Jim Blaylock / Staff
Jim Blaylock / Staff
Shannon Quattlebaum - North Columbia Elementary School

Hope Harbin -- third grade

Blue Ridge Elementary

Years experience: 18

Hope Harbin knows that children learn more efficiently when they enjoy the learning process. She has applied that philosophy in every aspect of her teaching.

From her colorful clothes to her contagious smile, she envelopes her children in the process of learning throughout the day.

Harbin has worked with some of the more challenging children at her school. She has demonstrated how style, together with knowledge of what motivates children and how they learn, can turn any child on to learning.

Harbin expects and facilitates an expansive role for parents in their children's learning.

Kimberly Chavous -- music

Brookwood Elementary

Years experience: Five

Kim Chavous epitomizes what a dedicated, caring, determined and confident educator should be.

The daily enthusiasm, patience and understanding that she displays toward her students is contagious. Her students respond in kind.

Chavous' belief that all students can succeed engenders the kind of confidence in her students that encourages them to take risks in learning and attempting new things. Her passion for music extends throughout the broader community through her volunteer performances in nursing homes, hospitals, benefit concerts and churches.

Jennifer Williams -- third grade

 

Cedar Ridge Elementary School

Years experience: Nine

Words often used to describe Jennifer Williams are caring, positive and compassionate. It is obvious to all who know Williams that she has a deep love for her students that goes far beyond the norm.

She understands her students and their individual needs. Her students know that they are loved and respected, and because of this, they work hard to meet her expectations.

Williams is always seeking innovative ways to keep her students engaged in the learning process and has the enthusiasm to create a learning environment that fosters continuous student achievement. When staff members identify those who exhibit a high level of character, Williams' name is always at the top of the list.

Robyn Eackloff -- ninth through 12th grades

 

Alternative School

Years experience: 13

During this school year, Robyn Eackloff captured her students attention with a variety of interesting activities.

She accepts the daily challenge of teaching in an alternative school with calmness, good humor and organizational effectiveness. Students are challenged daily and held to high standards, because it is her belief that every student can learn.

In Eackloff's eyes, there is no such thing as an unreachable student, and it is great to observe the change in attitudes as her students achieve success.

Amy Garrison -- engineering and technology

 

Columbia Middle

Years experience: 15

Amy Garrison believes that every child has full potential to develop abilities for learning. She understands that in order for learning to take place in a child, the teacher must effectively create a positive, caring and nurturing environment in which children feel confident enough to take risks without feeling threatened.

Garrison has instilled good values, attempted to build high esteem, and armed students with the knowledge and skills that will help them cope and integrate with the outside world.

Her devotion to the school allows her to perform exceptionally as the school's Webmaster as well as the girls and boys soccer coach. She establishes high expectations for student success, which goes along with her having confidence in her students' ability to succeed.

Teri Wandless -- fifth grade

 

Euchee Creek Elementary

Years experience: 12

Teri Wandless embodies all of the characteristics of a master teacher. She compassionately strives to reach every student academically, socially and behaviorally.

Wandless sets high standards for each and every one of her students. She is a leader at Euchee Creek -- grade chairwoman of her fifth grade team, a member of Euchee Creek's Leadership Team, and a member of the PBIS team.

Teaching for Wandless is natural, not forced. She instinctively knows how to meet her students' needs and understands when they need additional support. Her classroom routines are clearly taught and reinforced throughout her day, and the students are clear on what is expected.

Mary Nell Johnston -- third and fourth grades

 

Evans Elementary

Years experience: 17

Mary Nell Johnston provides strategic interventions to students through various avenues, depending on their abilities and individual needs. She collaborates with teachers, which promotes the success of students both in and out of the classroom.

Johnston's individual work with students sets her students up for mastery and success. More often than not, students are able to transfer skills developed during intervention with Johnston to their classroom learning.

She teaches students that they are not defined by their weaknesses. Instead, she stresses to them that they are defined by their ability to put forth their best in every area of their lives.

Allison Waddell -- Ninth grade science

 

Evans High

Years experience: 15

Allison Waddell is a science teacher and Renaissance sponsor at Evans High. In addition to her full teaching load and management of an extracurricular program, she has also accepted the responsibility for being our designated support member for Infinite Campus.

Her ability to support the use of this system by our other faculty has been recognized and complimented as practical and relevant to their needs.

As a mentor teacher, she volunteered to set up and manage new-teacher orientation. She also manages the computer labs for students enrolled in credit recovery and online learning, working in some of the most challenging learning situations in the school.

Candy White -- band

 

Evans Middle

Years experience: 24

Candy White has been an exceptional band instructor for the students of Evans Middle School.

White leads by example and takes her students' band preparation seriously. She praises her students regularly and provides them with opportunities to witness how their participation in band may lead to a career.

Each year her students receive superior ratings on their performance evaluations and they also elect to take her class multiple years in a row due to her caring approach and her instructional skills.

Margaret Wesley -- art

 

Greenbrier Elementary

Years Experience: 22

Margaret Wesley is full of energy and exhibits enthusiasm for her job. Her work exemplifies excellence. She plans ahead and provides a variety of hands-on, engaging art activities for her students. As a result, her students are eager and excited to learn due to her creativity and excitement for art.

Wesley has been an active participant in school improvement efforts by serving on the leadership team and as grade-level chairwoman and the county art share committee. She is a team player and is always looking for ways to help students be successful and gain a love for art.

Katherine Crossan -- art

 

Greenbrier High

Years experience: 12

As an art teacher, Katherine Crossan is somewhat of an anomaly -- understated and very modest. She exhibits a seasoned refinement and naturally positive disposition.

Crossan works in the same gentle, professional rhythm with her Advanced Placement Studio art prodigies as she does with her first-year art students, setting extremely high expectations for performance to ensure the success of every student. She is one of those rare professionals who unobtrusively leave lasting impressions on young people by allowing them to have their own personal evolutions through the world of art.

Heather Typhair -- fifth-grade language arts and social studies

 

Grovetown Elementary

Years experience: Five

Heather Typhair is successful because she has high expectations for herself and her students.

Those high expectations, combined with a true sense of compassion, bring out the best in her students.

As a school teacher, Typhair works collaboratively with her team to improve assessment and instruction. Her combination of compassion and high expectation for her students, along with her commitment to improving instruction as a leader, make Typhair the perfect choice as teacher of the year.

Rodney Holder -- health and physical education

 

Grovetown High

Years experience: 13

Rodney Holder was chosen teacher of the year because of his work ethic, ability to motivate and genuine love for what he does.

Students are often quoting lessons in life that they either heard or have seen firsthand having coach Holder as a role model. He gets students to give 110 percent in their effort to become the best they can be and has a gift in turning their effort into lifelong skills.

 

Carrie Hauger -- art

 

Grovetown Middle

Years experience: 13

Everything about Carrie Hauger defines what it is to exemplify teacher of the year. She is an inspiration to the students and faculty with her giving personality and energetic teaching style.

Hauger has a wealth of knowledge in each aspect of the visual arts field and demonstrates them in her classroom. She spends countless hours displaying the student work, which sets the tone and the climate at our school.

Hauger has the respect and admiration of her colleagues, parents and the students she teaches. Because of her enthusiasm for teaching and love for student learning, she is held in the highest esteem by all around her.

Stephaney Crenshaw -- engineering and drafting

 

Harlem High

Years experience: 24

Stephaney Crenshaw is an outstanding educator at Harlem High. She has been a member of the Harlem High staff for only two years, but her positive personality and her helpful approach endear her to students, faculty and administration.

Crenshaw operates at one speed, fifth gear. She has tremendous ability to multitask in her classroom; differentiating her lessons to meet the needs of students at different levels. She serves as our faculty yearbook adviser, guiding students through the process of producing a wonderful yearbook. She gains the admiration and respect of her students through a caring attitude and effective instruction.

Karla Lopez --eighth-grade language arts

 

Harlem Middle

Years experience: 12

Karla Lopez has taught language arts to eighth-grade students at Harlem Middle School for the past 12 years. Her belief in children, enthusiasm for learning and strong work ethic are the qualities that make her an outstanding educator. Lopez brings her classroom to life every day through creative lessons and engaging dialogue with students. She is a star of the profession for always going above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of her students.

Pamela McKean -- business and computer science

 

Lakeside High

Years experience: Eight

Pamela McKean is the sponsor of Lakeside's FBLA and actively supports Lakeside's JROTC program, often chaperoning JROTC's weekend and overnight activities.

McKean's professional affiliations include Professional Association of Georgia Educators, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Computer Science Teachers Association and Future Business Leaders of America. She has a bachelor of science in business administration and a master of science in middle grades education and is pursuing educational specialist in instructional technology.

McKean's friendly personality is contagious. She has a genuine appeal and is always smiling. A consummate professional and teacher in and outside the classroom, she has mastered both the art and craft of teaching.

 

Jeanette James -- art

 

Lakeside Middle

Years experience: Nine

Some teachers start their careers in the classroom and some take the road less traveled.

Jeanette James took that less-traveled road on the way to the classroom and Lakeside Middle School. She began her career as a recreational therapist and now immerses her students in plaster, clay and design while reminding students that they are part of a family and community; sharing responsibilities for all.

This year, James began a tutoring program for at-risk students because she saw a need.

Jody Scott -- third grade

 

Lewiston Elementary

Years of experience: Nine

Jody Scott is an outstanding teacher who has established excellent rapport with parents, her students, colleagues, and administration. She has been employed at Lewiston for seven years and has had a tremendous positive affect on the lives of the students she has taught.

Scott has been a leader in many facets of the school. She is an outstanding grant writer and has been awarded thousands of dollars in the seven years that she has taught at Lewiston.

This teacher is an awesome pick to be Teacher of the Year for Lewiston Elementary.

Cathy Brinson -- fifth grade

 

Martinez Elementary

Years experience: 23

Cathy Brinson has earned Teacher of the Year honors at Martinez Elementary through her dedication and her drive for the profession. She is an extremely gifted educator who is very stimulating and very enthusiastic about her work. This enthusiasm is contagious and is reflected in her abilities to collaboratively work with other teachers.

Brinson's teaching style ensures that all her students are successful. She has the ability to effectively articulate her subject matter, and is conscious of the different learning styles of her students and plans her lessons accordingly. The student's responsiveness and attitude towards her show that they are actively involved in the learning process.

Shannon Quattlebaum -- third grade

 

North Columbia Elementary

Years experience: 17

Shannon Quattlebaum's talent and positive attitude are exhibited in her dedication to the growth and development of her students. Her colleagues describe her as an "exemplary teacher who genuinely cares about her students and goes above and beyond the norm to educate and encourage them."

In addition to setting the standard for professional effectiveness, Quattlebaum also willingly shares areas of expertise with her colleagues through workshops and training sessions. She contributes to the well-being of the entire school by contributing to various school and system committees.

Stacey Wilson -- first grade

 

North Harlem Elementary

Years experience: 11

As a teacher-leader at North Harlem Elementary, Stacey Wilson is recognized among her colleagues as a teacher who does all she can to ensure that students achieve.

Wilson consistently employs a variety of innovative instructional strategies to ensure success for all children. As a team leader, she has been instrumental in helping her teammates adjust to curricular and instructional changes, and she has helped everyone maintain a positive outlook during this process. Most of all, Wilson strives for ways to make sure that her classroom is the place where every child has the chance to reach his or her potential.

Kami DeRosier -- kindergarten

 

Riverside Elementary

Years experience: Five

Kami DeRosier's classroom is a delightful place to be. She possesses a wonderful combination of abundant creativity paired with clear sighted organization.

DeRosier is a fountain of ideas, effortlessly bubbling with engaging ways to present curriculum to her students. When one enters her classroom, it is quickly apparent that the children are engaged and being challenged at their own level.

She works hard to make meaningful connections with her students in order to truly understand their needs. She possesses all of the qualities that make a wonderful kindergarten teacher -- resourcefulness, enthusiasm, dedication and passion.

Tamara Espinosa -- fourth-grade math

 

South Columbia Elementary

Years experience: Eight

Tamara Espinosa is a dedicated and compassionate teacher who gives 100 percent of her energy to her students. She works tirelessly to design lessons that motivate and inspire.

Espinosa goes above and beyond to share ideas with her peers and guide new teachers in her role as mentor. Her enthusiasm is contagious as she strives to promote a positive learning climate for the students of South Columbia Elementary.

Paula Schwartzman

 

Stevens Creek Elementary

Years experience: 28

Paula Schwartzman was selected as Stevens Creek Teacher of the Year because she is never one to maintain status quo.

Although she brings a wealth of experience and well-developed strategies to the classroom, it is the dynamic energy she displays that brings learning to life for her first-graders.

She has seen significant changes over nearly 30 years of teaching, and her focus is always on student achievement.

Schwartzman communicates with parents and shares successful strategies with peers. She is a teacher that students appreciate in the moment, and also the one who is fondly remembered for years to come.

Jennifer May -- first grade

 

Westmont Elementary

Years experience: Eight

Combin-ing a strong ability to discern how each student learns with great compassion for each child, Jennifer May is truly a model for teachers.

When one enters her first-grade classroom, it is obvious differentiated learning is occurring for all her students.

Small groups are consistently conducted as students work to achieve their highest potential in all academic areas.

Not only does she meet their academic needs, but also their social and emotional needs by providing a nurturing environment where expectations are consistent and responses are positive.

Trina Galvin -- Media Specialist of the Year

 

Euchee Creek

Years experience: 17

Euchee Creek is a Title I school. Therefore, many of our students do not have the luxury of owning the latest technology the way so many children do in our community.

Trina Galvin does a great job of offering innovative technology to our students and has created lessons to teach students how to be productive, safe, and respectful users of the Internet.

Galvin is a firm believer that our students deserve every opportunity that every other child in Columbia County has and makes innovative technology available to them that they may not otherwise be able to use out of the school setting.

 

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