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District names finalists for Teacher of the Year

Posted: August 23, 2017 - 3:47am

Education officials announced the top five finalists for the district's Teacher of the Year award during the board's regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

The finalists are Courtney Owen of River Ridge Elementary, Riverside Elementary's Tammy Harold, Westmont Elementary's Andrea Short, Grovetown Middle's Lorena Smith and Harlem High's Suzanne Horne.

Owen, a K-5 Visual Art teacher has worked at River Ridge Elementary for 12 years, having worked for four years combined at Westmont and North Harlem elementary schools, for a total of 16 years with the county.

"I am very honored to be named the River Ridge Elementary teacher of the year," Owen said when asked what it means to be teacher of the year for her school. "I work with an amazing and supportive administration, faculty, and enrichment team. It is humbling to be selected as their representative for the year. I will do my best to deserve this recognition. The teachers and students at RRE inspire me to grow each year."

Harold, a 2nd grade teacher has been at Riverside Elementary for three years, and a combined 20 years with the county schools.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be the TOTY for Riverside Elementary," Harold said when asked what it means to be named Teacher of the Year for her school. "I am a passionate educator and I am so excited to be recognized by my colleagues. Even though teaching is a challenging job, I believe the rewards outweigh the challenges a million times over. Nothing is as dynamic to me, as the culture and climate of an elementary school. I am appreciative that I can passionately encourage and inspire young minds."

Short, a 5th Grade English, Language Arts and social studies teacher has been at Westmont for 16 years.

"Being Teacher of the year for my school means that my colleagues have recognized my love and passion for what I do," Short said of what it means to her to be teacher of the year for her school. "Not just the academic aspects of teaching, but also my desire to develop my students socially and emotionally."

Smith, an 8th grade math/coordinate algebra teacher has been with the school for the past three years having taught in Richmond County and Augusta Technical College, among others.

"There are so many great teachers at Grovetown Middle School that I am truly honored and humbled to receive this recognition," Smith said of being named her school's teacher of the year.

Horne, a 10th and 12th grade English Language Arts and AP Literature and Composition teacher has been with the school for three years.

"I am so humbled and honored to be my school's Teacher of the Year," Horne said. "Each day, I strive to serve others in whatever capacity needed to help students succeed and help my school meet its goals for that year, and being chosen for this award confirms for me that I am meeting my personal goals of making myself accessible as a servant leader to my school, teachers and students."

A panel of judges will observe and interview the five finalists Sept. 7 and a winner will be announced during the annual banquet Oct. 5.

Elementary School Teachers of the Year

Jennifer Watkins - Baker Place Elementary

Dawn McKee - Blue Ridge Elementary

Nikki Pressley - Brookwood Elementary

Toni Stephens - Cedar Ridge Elementary

Dawn Jeffers - Euchee Creek Elementary

Lauren Fackler - Evans Elementary

Tejal Vallabh - Greenbrier Elementary

Kheri Cash - Grovetown Elementary

Rodney Holder - Lewiston Elementary

Cathy Moseley - Martinez Elementary

Andrea French - North Columbia Elementary

Noelle Keener - North Harlem Elementary

Donna Hamill - Parkway Elementary

Tammy Harold - Riverside Elementary

Anna Connolly - South Columbia Elementary

Kaye Harmon - Stevens Creek Elementary

Middle School Teachers of the Year

Jennifer Marty - Columbia Middle School

Nancy Schwertfeger - Evans Middle School

Andrea Smock - Greenbrier Middle School

Lorena Smith - Grovetown Middle School

Eric Rogers - Harlem Middle School

Denice Tudor - Lakeside Middle School

Brenda Balliet - Riverside Middle School

Kimberly Wahus - Stallings Island Middle School

High School Teachers of the Year

Michael Foster - Evans High School

Steven Jones - Greenbrier High School

Kelli M. Jones - Grovetown High School

Suzanne Horne - Harlem High School

Millicent M. Bowman - Lakeside High School

 

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