A Columbia County resident who made a late career switch to the education profession has been awarded a statewide teaching honor.
Jim Borum, of Grovetown, is a construction technology teacher at Jefferson County High School. He recently was honored as a “Hero in the Classroom” by Symetra Financial, SunTrust Bank and the Atlanta Falcons.
Borum was nominated this year by Linda Massey, a fellow teacher at Jefferson County High.
A graduate of Evans High School, Borum said he initially wanted to pursue teaching and coaching, but instead went to work and got married. He later was the subject of a controversial firing by Atlanta Gas Light because of misconstrued comments he made at a meeting of the Columbia County Local Emergency Planning Committee, on which he served as an AGL representative.
After a settlement with AGL, Borum went back to school and received his teaching degree. At 50, he’s pursuing a masters in adult career education, he said.
Finally getting into teaching six years ago, he said, “was a circuitous route.”
Massey said she decided to nominate Borum when she saw that one of the questions on the nomination form asked how the nominee goes above and beyond for students. She remembered a time when Borum and his wife helped a former student through a difficult circumstance.
Representatives from the “Heroes in the Classroom” organization visited the school to present Borum, one of 16 winners in the state, with his prize.
“We get tons of nominations,” said Stephanie Byron, cooperate partnership executive with the Atlanta Falcons.
Borum receives sideline passes to an Atlanta Falcons game, items autographed by Atlanta Falcons’ football players and $250 for use in his classroom. Jefferson County High School also receives $1,000.
“It’s awesome you all do this for teachers,” he told the representatives. “And then, they gave $1,000 to the school? This is awesome.”
Cody Turner, a former student of Borum’s,said he grew to appreciate the teacher and became one of Borum’s top students. Turner added that Borum is dedicated, friendly, dependable and a great motivator.