Elizabeth Arthur, Greenbrier Middle
Elizabeth Arthur was selected as Greenbrier Middle School's first Teacher of the Year due to her tremendous effort and dedication to the Wolfpack students and staff. In the classroom, her science lessons involve a variety of instructional strategies that center around hands-on activities and the frequent use of technology. She is committed to providing assignments and instruction that demand high quality products from her students.
Arthur participates in staff development opportunities that enrich her classroom instructional skills such as Adopt-A-Stream, the JASON Project, and INTEC. She serves as our SACS chairperson and coaches our cheerleading squad. Her relentless dedication to our school has proven to be an inspiration to both the students and staff. Arthur is an exemplary teacher and we are fortunate to have her on our faculty. She truly knows how to ''Back the Pack!"
Ralph Barclay, Euchee Creek Elementary School
Ralph Barclay's route to teaching was delayed by a 20-year stint in the United States Army, where he served as a Captain in the Signal Corps. An Elementary teacher for the past 5 years, Mr. Barclay brings enthusiasm and a gregarious personality to his math classes. The faculty attributes his success with the reluctant learner to his dynamic teaching style that provides a fast pace for instruction. He is married to Penny Barclay, also a teacher at Euchee Creek. They have two sons who attend Greenbrier High School and Harlem High School.
Peggy Young Branch, North Harlem Elementary School
Peggy Young Branch was selected as North Harlem Elementary's Teacher of the Year because she has faithfully served the students of the Harlem community as a classroom teacher for 24 years. Second and third generations of children from the same family have experienced the positive impact and the effectiveness of her classroom instruction and her commitment to molding well-rounded, citizenship-minded, contributing young people.
In addition, (Young) Branch is viewed by her colleagues and co-workers as a dedicated professional. Her demeanor is open and accepting. She helps to ensure that her fellow fifth grade teachers maintain positive climates in their classrooms and work together to resolve the challenges of instructing students with individual learning difficulties or behavioral concerns. As grade-level chairperson, she was willing to help the administration assess the overall effectiveness of the instructional program and assist in designing strategies to improve all facets of the services afforded North Harlem students through this organization.
A pleasure to work with, (Young) Branch is a respected, well-liked, hard-working, service-oriented individual who inspires others in the education profession to raise their levels of commitment to the students they serve. Her fellow teachers and the North Harlem administration chose her as Teacher of the Year to recognize and honor her for her long and very effective tenure as a member of our Team.
Debbie Callan, Bel Air Elementary School
Debbie Callan has been a first grade teacher at Bel Air Elementary School for 23 years. She is married to Rick Callan, a dental professor at MCG. They have three children, Danielle, Jessica and Richard.
Debbie has been Bel Air's Teacher of the Year five times. She has had the honor of being selected as the Columbia County Teacher of the year in 1995. She is the coordinator of Bel Air's Saturday School Program called B.U.G.S. (Bringing Up Grades on Saturdays). She has been working with the school's School Business Partnership Program for over sixteen years. She has been the recipient of several Junior League, MCG, Westinghouse and SRS grants.
Lou Coakley, Riverside Elementary School
Riverside Elementary is proud to have Lou Coakley represent them as Teacher of the Year.
Coakley is a graduate of the University of Georgia. She earned her M.Ed. and Ed.S degrees at Augusta College in Elementary Education. Lou began her teaching career in Lincolnton, teaching high school English. She also taught at the elementary level in Lincoln County.
She has been teaching in Columbia County schools for the past 12 years. As a third grade teacher she uses innovative strategies and methods to reach her students. She is an INTECH trainer for the county and has served on various county committees. At Riverside, Lou is admired by her collogues and friends as a dedicated, caring teacher and model educator.
Kathryn DuRant, Blue Ridge Elementary School
Kathryn is starting her fourteenth year as a teacher. After graduating from Clemson University, she taught in Aiken County for eight years while earning a Masters Degree in Education from the University of South Carolina.
She's currently working on an Education Specialist Degree in Middle Grades Math and Science at Augusta State University.
This is her sixth year at Blue Ridge Elementary. Previously, she taught fourth grade, but has recently ''looped" up to fifth grade with her students. She states that she feels blessed and privileged to work with such outstanding faculty, parents, and students.
Kathryn is a member of First Presbyterian Church. When she has time, she enjoys reading, traveling, skiing, and other outdoor activities.
Joanne Ely, Greenbrier Elementary School
Joanne Ely was selected by her peers as the Teacher of the Year at Greenbrier Elementary School for the 2001-2002 school term. She has nine years of teaching experience and has been at Greenbrier as a second-grade teacher since the school's opening in 1996. She received her undergraduate degree in early childhood education from Georgia Southern University in 1992 and a master's degree from Augusta State University in 1997.
Ely's classroom provides a challenging and positive environment. She maintains a close bond with her students. This assists in their reaching the high expectations she holds for them and for herself.
Carla Friel, Stevens Creek Elementary
For Carla Friel to be selected as teacher of the year comes as no surprise to the faculty and staff who every day see her dedication to Stevens Creek Elementary. Her enthusiasm and creativity reflect her love of teaching. The focus of Friel's efforts is the fourth grade students who benefit from her classroom expertise in Math and Reading. In addition to those duties, she has been the Spelling Bee Chairman, the SACS IV Committee Chairman, Grade Level Chairman, and PTO Faculty Representative. She has also served on countywide committees including Strategic Planning, Guiding Principles, and Math Curriculum Revision. Friel is a prime example of the kind of professional educator that makes Stevens Creek an exceptional school.
Mary Harris, Evans Middle School
Mary Harris is the Evans Middle Teacher of the Year for the year 2000-2001. Harris graduated from Augusta College with a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts. Upon graduation she pursued a career in private industry in a managerial position.
During this time, she was a part-time faculty member teaching Art History at Georgia Military College. While enjoying private industry, the creative aspects were lacking. Mrs. Harris decided to return to school, and update her teaching certificate. In October 1989, Harris accepted a teaching position at Columbia Middle School. She returned to her original career choice, teaching young adults Visual Art. She enjoyed her tenure at Columbia Middle and was their Teacher of the Year for the 1996-1997 school year. After ten years, Harris transferred to Evans Middle School. Although it was very hard to leave her colleagues at CMS, she has enjoyed the support of the faculty and staff at Evans Middle.
Harris lives in Martinez with her husband, Phil, and their two children; Anna a junior at Evans High School and Sam a seventh grader at Evans Middle. Outside interests include supporting her children in their many endeavors, leading a Girl Scout Troop, and traveling.
Kelly Hiatt, Harlem Middle School
Kelly Hiatt graduated from Augusta State University in 1998, where she was a member of Pi Lambda Theta International Honors Society, ASU's Honor Student Association, and Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges. She served as an officer in the Student Government Association, the Student Ambassador Board, and the Collegiate Middle Level Association.
Upon graduation, Hiatt was hired to teach Technology Education at Harlem Middle School. She proceeded to improve the curriculum and update the laboratory facilities. Her Roller Coaster Physics program has been featured in The Augusta Chronicle.
Since joining the faculty at Harlem Middle, Hiatt has served as the Sponsor for the Jr. Beta Club, which earned the 1999 National Service Project Award, and the HMS News and Media Club, which received an accolade from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Hiatt also enjoys coaching both the Track and Cheerleading teams.
Angela Hobby, Evans Elementary School
Angela Hobby is the Pre-K teacher at Evans Elementary School. She has fifteen years teaching experience in public schools, eight of them in Columbia County.
Angela also has four years teaching experience in a private preschool and one year in four-year-old nursery school at the Georgia Southern Family Life Center.
She earned her bachelor's degree from Georgia College at Milledgeville, master's degree from Georgia Southern College, and specialist's degree from Augusta State University; all three degrees being in early childhood education.
Angela is married to Mac Hobb, who is employed by MCG. They have two adult daughters.
Donna Jones, Martinez Elementary School
Donna Jones graduated from Augusta College. She is currently teaching third grade for the sixteenth year, all of which have been at MES.
Donna is a very enthusiastic teacher who tries to make learning as much fun as possible for her students. She has her students compete in a monthly math contest. She rewards students by letting them eat lunch with her and by letting them throw pies in her face.
Donna has served as SACS Chairperson, Yearbook Advisor, After School Program Teacher, Young Georgia Authors Judge, In-Tech Redelivery Team Captain, Softball Coach for Lakeside Middle School, and Columbia County Science Curriculum Committee Member.
She was MES Teacher of the Year for 1991-1992 and is listed in Who's Who Among American Teachers. She has only missed one day of school during her teaching career.
Phyllis Kitchens, Westmont Elementary School
Phyllis Kitchens is the Music Specialist at Westmont Elementary School. She's been married 18 years to my wonderful husband, Wayne, who cooks for her when she works late and supports her in her efforts to teach. She has a dedicated church family at Warren Baptist who strengthen her faith and gives her many opportunities to grow musically and spiritually.
The process of becoming a music specialist began when she joined Primary church choir and continued during high school through her involvement in band, chorus, and theory. While in college music and education classes became her favorite courses and led to a Bachelor of Music Education Degree and Certificate in Music Therapy from Florida State University and a Masters Degree in Education from Georgia Southern University.
It has been her pleasure to work with the excellent team of teachers, staff, and parents at Westmont Elementary, and she would not have an effective music program without their continued support. Music has the inherent capacity to help children develop skills that are needed in many subject areas including ''words" for reading, ''movement" for sports, principles of ''sound" for science, ''multicultural songs" for social studies, and ''original compositions" for writing. She consider it an honor to be able to teach and would like to challenge every reader to support music in our public schools.
Toni Salazar Kitchens, North Columbia Elementary School
Teaching is the only thing Toni Salazar Kitchens has ever really wanted to do. She can remember lining the head of my bed with all of my stuffed animals and she would begin to teach. As she grew older, she had a desire to help other people and try to make a difference. This is why she believes she had a 'calling' to be a teacher.
Kitchens was born and raised in Columbia County and feels it is a great honor to be selected as teacher of the year from a Columbia County school. She would like to thank the faculty and staff of North Columbia Elementary for choosing her to represent them.
She graduated from Evans Comprehensive High School in 1987, received her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Augusta State University in 1991, and earned a Masters' Degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia College in 1992. Finally ... she's a teacher!!!!
In August of 1992, she began her career at Wrens Elementary. Since then, she has taught in the Jefferson County School District, Chatham County School District, Bulloch County School District, and finally, at home, in Columbia County. She is presently a third grade teacher at North Columbia Elementary.
Being a teacher is a very challenging, yet rewarding career. The challenge comes with abundant paper work, extra duties, time constraints, and many other factors that ''outside" people do not know about. The rewards come when, as a teacher you see the ''light" finally come on and getting those notes of appreciation from both parents and students, she said.
J. Roy Lewis, Harlem High School
J. Roy Lewis is a 21-year veteran teacher of theatre at Harlem High School. Through the years, his students and drama program have won regional, state, and national honors. In 2001, Harlem High drama won the Southeastern Theatre Conference, making them one of the top five theatre programs in the United States and Georgia's alternate school for the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In order to help his students achieve their goals, he offers opportunities in performing, directing, and producing the six drama productions staged each year at Harlem High School. As a dedicated teacher, Roy's desire for all young people is for them to develop into passionate and compassionate students of life.
Jo Lillis, Columbia Middle School
Jo Lillis currently teaches seventh grade Communication Skills at Columbia Middle School. She's in in her eleventh year at CMS and her eighteenth year in education.
Over the past 17 years, Lillis has taught numerous technology staff development classes and workshops. She has co-presented at the Georgia Technology and Georgia Middle School Conferences. In addition, she's co-developed a piece of software for curriculum management.
She receives her students as they are defining the relationship they have with the world around them. It is her mission to assist the children in recognizing their worth and then make sure that they have the tools they need to become positive members of society.
She's honored to represent all of the teachers at Columbia Middle School this year.
Sylvia Martin, Grovetown Elementary School
Sylvia Martin, fourth grade teacher at Grovetown Elementary School, is held in high esteem by her peers for exemplary performance in the classroom, community outreach, and leadership qualities. She is an outstanding role model for teachers and students.
She is a caring person whose actions demonstrate her interest in others. Science activities in Martin's room have generated much enthusiasm and produced many rewarding moments for her students. Through her initiation of Science Fair Award Night seven years ago, over forty community awards per year have been awarded to students for their efforts to implement the science process.
Her students have also earned many ribbons at two district science fairs (CSRA and CSRA RESA). Martin sponsors and instructs fourth and fifth grade students selected to participate in the Euchee Creek Adopt-A-Stream program, an innovative program aimed at raising student awareness of environmental issues and concerns. Martin equated quality outcome with quality teaching.
Martha McGough, Lakeside Middle School
Lakeside Middle School's Teacher of The Year, Martha McGough, has been a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher in Columbia County for thirteen years. A graduate of Auburn University and former Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University Child Study Center in Auburn, she came to Columbia County with fifteen years of experience in Family and Consumer Sciences education.
McGough, sponsor of an active Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Chapter at Lakeside, was one of five Georgia FACS teachers awarded Master Advisor Recognition at the National Leadership Meeting in Anaheim, California, in July. Under her leadership last year the chapter members earned recognition in thirteen categories in addition to two state awards, four state gold medals and four national gold medals in STAR Events competitions.
McGough was selected to make presentations at the state FACS In-Service, the National Cluster Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, the National FCCLA Leadership Meeting, and was published in a national FCCLA publication. As a second time LMS Teacher of The Year, she points to the dedication of the faculty and support of the administration as keys to continued enthusiasm for teaching Family and Consumer Sciences education for it empowers individuals and families across their life span to manage the challenges of living and working in a diverse, global society.
Christy Van Meter, Riverside Middle School
Christy Van Meter has been teaching for 10 years, the last six of those years at Riverside Middle School in Columbia County. Van Meter loves working with students and sharing with them her love of reading and writing. She is a sixth grade language arts and social studies teacher who tries to instill in her students a passion for learning. She is also the sponsor of Images, Riverside Middle School's literary magazine.
Van Meter is constantly striving to get students excited about learning. She believes that technology provides one avenue for enhancing instruction and getting students involved in exciting educational activities. She also uses technology as a tool for keeping students and parents aware of what is going on in the classroom; she maintains her own web page, making her classroom accessible at all times. Van Meter also engages her students by immersing them in quality literature and by providing them with opportunities for authentic writing experiences.
Van Meter's duties as an educator extend beyond her classroom. She was the chair of Riverside's School Improvement Committee for 2000-2001. She has also been an In-Tech instructor in her school. In addition, she has taught staff development courses on teaching and evaluating writing to other teachers in Columbia County. Van Meter also continues to pursue her own educational goals as well. She has received her Master's degree in English Education. She also holds an Instructional Technology certificate and is a Teacher Support Specialist. In addition, Van Meter has been working on National Teacher Certification.
Alice Pinkerton, Brookwood Elementary School
Alice Pinkerton enjoys the challenge of teaching and believes the most important factor in being a successful teacher is love of children. The best learning takes place in a caring, loving, safe environment. Her fourth grade classroom is a busy place as the students use technology, manipulatives, simulations, learning stations and puppets to stimulate creativity and communicate their knowledge of the curriculum. Alice enjoys the challenge of finding new ways to present the core curriculum.
Alice has a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters of Science in Early Childhood Education from Jacksonville State University, Alabama. She has taught kindergarten, first and fourth grades during the past 20 years. Alice is a Golden Apple recipient and twice listed in Who's Who Among American Teachers.
Pinkerton is a Master Teacher in the Augusta State University Professional Development School Program; wherein, she mentors apprentice teachers assuring the advancement of excellence in the Early Childhood classroom. She brings to her students abundant skill and enthusiasm and is unequivocal when she says, ''I am blessed with the best of the best students year after year."
Vicki Tarleton, Evans High School
Vicki Tarleton has been teaching high school for 10 years, eight years at Evans High. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from the University of Georgia, a Master of Education in Business from Georgia College State and University, and a Master of Education in Mathematics Education from the University of Georgia.
She began her teaching career as an Assistant Professor in the Communication Information Systems department at Georgia College and State University. At Evans, Vicki has co-chaired the Southern Accreditation for Colleges and Schools committee while also serving as a member of the Columbia County committees that have researched block scheduling, the Tech Prep curriculum, and the SERVE Senior Project.
Tarleton has taught in both the business education and mathematics departments. She is currently the math department chairman at Evans. During her teaching career, Vicki has sponsored several clubs and organizations including student council, FBLA, and cheerleading.
Sandra Taylor, South Columbia Elementary School
A college professor once told Sandra that ''the best teacher is a good learner." South Columbia's Teacher of the Year learns every day from her administrators, her colleagues and her students.
Student achievement is her highest priority, but Sandra believes that ''the next best thing" is teaching her second graders life lessons about getting along with others, thinking of others first, and being polite. She uses literature to teach most concepts and tells her students she is proud to be a bookworm! Three signs you will see when you enter her classroom are ''Because Nice Matters," ''Great Expectations" and ''We Love Books with a Passion."
Sandra has taught second grade students at South Columbia Elementary School for 14 years. Prior to that time, she was a paraprofessional in a first grade classroom at Belair Elementary School for three years.
Lisa Weaver, Lakeside High School
Lisa Weaver teaches English and World Mythology at Lakeside High School. She's a native of North Carolina and graduated from Gardner-Webb University with a B.A. in Secondary English Education. During her 17 years as an educator, Weaver has taught in North Carolina, Texas, and Georgia, coached tennis, track, and cheerleading, and sponsored Student Council organizations and publications of literary magazines.
Outside of school, she enjoys traveling, reading, gardening, and running. Presently, she's a graduate student in English Education at Augusta State University. In November, she'll be a part of a team of educators from ASU and Lakeside High School who will present at the annual NCTE Conference (National Council of Teachers of English) in Baltimore, MD.
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