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Columbia County Teachers of the Year

Posted: September 30, 2012 - 12:03am
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Crystal Kitts, Westmont Elementary
Crystal Kitts, Westmont Elementary

Mr. Bloodworth is a dedicated and devoted faculty member. He consistently exhibits a cooperative spirit, professional attitude and caring disposition. Serving in his sixth year as an ELA teacher, he has taken on many leadership roles, including serving on the school council, the Common Core redelivery team, ELA Benchmark Committee, girls and boys track coach, as well as being a team leader. Mr. Bloodworth is always well-prepared for daily instruction, gives positive and meaningful feedback to students, is highly reliable and displays confidence in teaching.

Mr. Phillips has a genuine passion to be creative and to spark the love of learning into the hearts of children he serves. Mr. Phillips loves to use games and competition to drive his students. He goes the extra mile to sponsor sports and mentor youth beyond the classroom. Mr. Phillips has outstanding character, which is becoming of an exceptional teacher. His impact on the students of Evans Middle School is beyond measure.

Mrs. Prince displays an incredibly strong dedication and concern for all her students. She demands excellence from her students and works with each of them to attain this standard. Mrs. Prince is a gifted educator whose passion and knowledge are transmitted to her students, leading to incredible student achievement.

Mr. Garner has consistently demonstrated his leadership skills and effective communication as we’ve worked toward refining the services of the alternative education program. He has contributed exceptional instructional skills that resulted in impressive student achievement on the Economics End-of-Course Test (100 percent pass). This is a significant challenge when the school’s student population transitions to CCAS from their zone schools, and they have oftentimes fallen behind academically. He is a valuable resource to his peers, administration, students and their parents.

Deborah Evans has a gift, a genuine kindness that radiates throughout our building, touching one soul after another. Her daily grind and commitment to this profession is simply unrivaled. Ms. Evans is the model for differentiated instruction, consistently reaching the learning needs of all her students and continuing to make every effort to inspire, motivate, and challenge those under her instruction. I announce without reservation that she is one of the best teachers in our building.

With Ms. Whitley, “what you see is what you get.” She is a natural and gives 110 percent each and every day regardless of what is going on outside of the classroom. Her energy and love for not only her subject matter but for learning in general permeates throughout Grovetown High School. Ms. Whitley has a passion for students, those who have the ability to “get it” the first time and especially for those who may take a little more coaching to have that light bulb go on.

Everything about Mrs. Wall defines what it is to exemplify this honor. She is an inspiration to the students and faculty with her giving personality and energetic teaching style. She always has a smile on her face and greets everyone as if they were her best friend. Mrs. Wall has been a distinguished member of our faculty for six years. She has a wealth of knowledge in the eighth-grade Georgia Performance Standards and works hard to implement these standards in her classroom. Mrs. Wall has the respect and admiration of her colleagues, parents and the students that she teaches.

Mrs. Collins exemplifies the qualities found in outstanding educators, mentors and leaders. She is a passionate teacher with a deep commitment to equity, closing the academic achievement gap, and helping all of her students achieve at high levels. As a classroom teacher, Mrs. Collins never settles for mediocrity; on the contrary, she has extremely high expectations of her students and fervently believes this is the only way they will transcend the limitations of poverty. A leader at Harlem Middle School, Mrs. Collins works tirelessly to help her students learn, grow and achieve their dreams.

Andrea Nale is full of energy and has a real desire to make Lakeside Middle School a better place. She plans the Title I Family Nights. She serves on the Grant Writing Committee, Title I Committee and Leadership Team. She makes herself available whenever and where ever she’s needed and doesn’t wait to be asked. Educating students is her passion. She truly deserves the title, “Teacher of the Year.”

Christi Milford is such an inspiration to all of the teachers and students at Bel Air Elementary. Her tremendous enthusiasm and passion for what she does is truly infectious. Without question, Christi epitomizes the characteristics that are indicative of an outstanding teacher. Bel Air is extremely proud to call Christi Milford our Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Kane has the particular talent of getting results because her ideas are innovative and her follow-through is flawless. She communicates professionally and knowledgeably, which earns the respect and trust of others. Her calm demeanor allows her to interact effectively with all types of people and her ability to assess needs and carry out a plan is exceptional. She is an excellent role model for any educator. She is a leader within her department, across the school and throughout the county.

Because of her passion for the wonders of science, Ms. Andrews has a great desire to convey her love of the subject to her students. She is devoted to the task of creating lessons, employing instructional strategies, constructing hands-on activities, and using all forms of technology that will engage students and feed their own curiosity of the wonders of the natural world. Ms. Andrews continually uses outstanding instructional strategies to help students connect learning to achievement; consequently, her students continually score in the top 10 percent of the state on the Science portion of the CRCT.

Tara Salley shines above all others with her enthusiasm and her energy for teaching. She’s innovative and works diligently to create new ways to teach complex topics. Ms. Salley is a team player and a constant source of strength for those around her. When life gave her the challenge of being diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer, she knew she still had work to do and many more lives to touch. She won her battle and when she came back to work her love of teaching was contagious. She gets to know her students and their families so that she can utilize all available information to reach each and every child.

Mrs. Smith epitomizes the example of a dedicated, caring, determined and confident educator. She truly implements our school mission of high expectations and the belief that all students can succeed. She has earned the respect from her peers by the positive example she exhibits each day.

The students are the center of Mrs. Smith’s classroom as she guides them towards independence, monitors academic progress and differentiates instruction when needed. Her ultimate goal is to make a difference in the lives of the students.

Mrs. Rodriguez has incredible ideas and is constantly thinking of ways that we can improve our school and the education of our students. She has been selected by her peers as grade chairwoman, as school council representative and is on the school’s Leadership Team. She shows enthusiasm in and out of the classroom. Her positive attitude is contagious. Angela Rodriguez has a true passion for helping children and the community.

Janet Bruyninckx is a person who was “born to teach,” sharing her talents with students, peers and the community. She exudes excitement and energy. Her knowledge, talent and positive attitude are exhibited in her dedication to the growth and development of her students. Students are entranced with her classes and become enormously involved in each lesson. We are all better teachers and people for having known Mrs. Bruyninckx.

Sarah Wheatley is the type of teacher every principal dreams of having. Mrs. Wheatley has a warm and inviting classroom that is truly student-centered. Her classroom is a model for standards-based classrooms and is a room in which teachers often like to visit to get new and fresh ideas. Mrs. Wheatley never hesitates to be a part of a committee or in the planning of an event that will raise money for our students and our school. She has even been known to dance at a faculty meeting a time or two when modeling for the teachers how to teach a math strategy. She does whatever it takes to ensure her students are successful, and for Mrs. Wheatley, failure is not an option.

Mrs. Goolsby is a phenomenal and innovative educator who has earned the respect of her peers. She volunteers countless hours of her time to be sure that all of her students are successful. Mrs. Goolsby has truly made an impact on the lives of students through her unique gift of being able to deliver effective instruction. Her dedication influences and inspires her colleagues to continue raising the bar for their students and expecting nothing but the best from them in return. As a result of her expectations, her students often perform well above the state average while mastering all of their personal learning goals. Most importantly, her colleagues continue to learn and grow as they collaborate and share ideas with her.

Mrs. Vaught does a great job. Her enthusiasm and high energy level motivate her students to do their best and give it their all. She has a passion for teaching physical education and understands the importance of teaching her students and colleagues about physical fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. During her tenure at Greenbrier Elementary School, Mrs. Vaught has been very involved in extra-curricular activities/events and served on various committees. Mrs. Vaught takes the initiative to do whatever is needed or asked to get tasks organized and completed in an efficient manner. Mrs. Vaught is a valuable member of our team, and I am proud to have her represent our school.

Brandon is an exemplary teacher whose calm demeanor is perfect for fifth-grade students. Brandon takes time to truly get to know his students. He constantly is pulling small groups to work on their skill deficits and extend the learning of students who already are mastering standards. He consistently employs hands-on lessons in his science and math classes, which engage his students. Brandon is willing to share what he learns with his peers. He serves on the school leadership team, is an instructor in the county’s New Teacher Academy and a member of the county CCGPS math team. He volunteers as a mentor with the Grovetown Gentleman’s Club.

Beth Stewart is an outstanding teacher with excellent leadership qualities. She is versatile in that she has served as an EIP teacher, first grade teacher, PE teacher and third-grade teacher and has done a remarkable job in each of these positions. Beth has the ability to lead her peers in completing assigned tasks that make effective changes in our school environment. Beth Stewart is an excellent choice for 2012-2013 Teacher-of-the-Year for Lewiston Elementary.

Mrs. Brooks is a model to her colleagues, exemplifying an impeccable work ethic and dedication to her students. She fosters a love of learning by routinely showering her students with learning opportunities that meet their unique and individual needs. She is a true asset to our profession.

Mrs. Crighton has earned the respect of her peers as being a teacher who always puts student learning first. You can often find Mrs. Crighton working with other teachers on her team developing lessons. She believes that a collaborative approach to lesson development is essential for student success. Mrs. Crighton is always willing to assist her colleagues whenever she is needed. Her passion for lesson development is evident. Mrs. Crighton has been an active participant in school improvement efforts by serving on the Instructional Design Team. Mrs. Crighton is a true role model for everyone at Martinez Elementary.

As a dedicated member of the North Harlem faculty, Mrs. Huff is respected and recognized among her colleagues as a teacher who goes above and beyond in her contributions to our school community. In addition to utilizing innovative teaching strategies in her music classrooms each day, Mrs. Huff works tirelessly to lead a large and enthusiastic group of third- through fifth-grade students in the NHE Chorus. Additionally, you will find Mrs. Huff contributing to special events at NHE throughout the school year. Mrs. Huff is truly a team player and an irreplaceable member of our North Harlem family.

Donna Turner is a teacher leader who possesses a humble confidence. She frequently volunteers to serve on committees at both the school level and the county level focused on student achievement and curriculum enhancement initiatives. Donna works very closely with her colleagues both within her grade level and across the school and is always willing to offer her time and resources to help anyone in need. Donna connects with her students on a personal level that makes them feel accepted and comfortable to take risks and reach their full potential. Donna exudes a passion for working with her students and truly understands their needs.

Crystal Kitts has served as a mentor for new teachers and has participated or chaired many school-level committees, including the leadership committee which analyzes school data and problem solves to improve the effectiveness of the school. She also serves on many county-level committees. Her positive and professional attitude allows her to be supportive of her peers and the school system as she contributes to providing a world-class education for all students. By combining structure, an incredible teaching expertise and compassion, her first-grade students find a place to grow and become responsible self-learners at an early age.

In addition to media duties, Jenny also has an active role in the school’s media, safety, and scheduling committee as well as the countywide Internet committee. She has created a media center that is an exciting place for students, faculty, staff and parents. Mrs. Pressley spends many hours over the normal day planning and coordinating events to promote literacy. She is constantly incorporating her love and knowledge of reading by integrating media literacy skills into the curriculum and providing ideas for teachers. She promotes an excellent connection between reading and writing through involvement in the Young Georgia Author’s Competition.

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