The Newnan Times-Herald


Coweta elementary schools choose Teachers of the Year

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Apr. 30, 2017 - 7:01 AM

Elementary schools in the Coweta County School System have announced their Teachers of the Year for 2017.

Each year, outstanding educators are chosen by their peers to represent their schools. From there, the Coweta County School System selects three finalists for the county-level Teacher of the Year. The educator named Coweta County Teacher of the Year is then considered for the statewide award.

Here are Coweta County’s 2017 elementary school Teachers of the Year, along with samples of their educational philosophies:

Arbor Springs: Kristi Lange, first grade. “As an educator, it is my responsibility for both the learning and growth of each child in my care.”

Arnco-Sargent: Melanie Youngblood, Title I/computer lab K-5. “Never think of your students as a class but to view each one as “One of Your Kids” and like any good parent, you will continue to seek ways to help them become the best they can be and reach their full potential.”

Atkinson: Monty Potts, fifth-grade mathematics. “I believe that to be a champion for each student, I must know the expectations of the standards and best practices for teaching.”

Brooks: Kimberly Stallings Ward, fifth-grade English/language arts. “Even though teachers work hard, we can always improve. Staying informed of educational trends and new research will advance our students to the next level of growth.”

Canongate: Jennifer Hamilton, fifth-grade English/language arts: “I believe every child needs a place to start, and my job is making that place inviting and special so they want to come back excited and eager to learn.”

Eastside: Angela McGeachy, pre-kindergarten. “We must show ourselves to be positive, moral, and ethical educators to build relationships with children and families, and thereby have a positive influence in their lives through education.”

Elm Street: Sally Brass, second grade. “Our students must know that we truly care about them and their futures. They must know that we are invested in them as people and not just in their performance.”

Glanton: Stephanie Landrum, media specialist. “Teaching is one of the most difficult and sometimes unappreciated jobs in the world, but there are still many victories to celebrate, including the way in which we must continue to reinvent ourselves year in and year out.”

Jefferson Parkway: Laura Orozco, second grade. “One must always lead by example, and if I expect students to be the best student they can be, I must set the same expectations for myself.”

Moreland: Hillary Metts, Grades 4-5 special education. “Teachers are charged with the incredible responsibility of sharing and explaining life on a daily basis. We get questions about things that most would laugh at. But, to these tiny humans we are a safe place.”

Newnan Crossing: Lola Hasting-Weber, third grade. “I believe that the purpose of education is to instill in children the wisdom and knowledge that they can and will succeed at anything they put their mind to.”

Northside: Lisa Diebboll, fifth-grade reading and English/language arts. The more realistic (expectations) are the quicker we reach them. Meet a student where they are and help them get where they need to be by expecting more and showing them they can achieve.”

Poplar Road: Melissa Bedenbaugh, kindergarten. “I have the understanding that every child is not provided the same opportunities due to circumstances outside of the school environment, but each child deserves all that we, as educators, can provide them.”

Ruth Hill: Anne Graner, media specialist. “When we teach to the inner world of students and are connecting our own inner world to the teaching process, new insights and understandings occur for both teachers and students. Learning is longer lasting and becomes applicable to new situations.”

Thomas Crossroads: Christina M. Luke, autism program support. “There are many important factors that enable learning to take place within the classroom. For my students these factors are opportunity, a conducive environment, building relationships, and never giving up on a student, no matter how hard the situation appears.”

Welch: Amanda Foiles, fourth grade. “A successful educator provides multiple opportunities to build trusting relationships with students based on mutual respect and trust. Having the respect and trust of your students sets a tone for your classroom community.”

Western: Mandy Binion, third-grade science and social studies. “I want each student in my room to grow to be highly educated, independent leaders in their community. I strive to make sure my lessons and classroom atmosphere require high standards and expectations.”

White Oak: Nikki Rutledge, fifth-grade math, English/language arts and social studies. “Regardless of ... outside factors, I feel the basis of accountability as a teacher is to support and document each child’s growth behaviorally, emotionally, and academically while under my care.  My job is to provide leadership and support to these children and their families and help build a stronger foundation for long-term school success.”

Willis Road: Crystal Joyner, Grades K-2 early intervention program. “Educators have to be knowledgeable and flexible enough to keep up with the ever-changing views, curriculum, resources, mandates, programs, and technology along with balancing it all with the social, educational, emotional, and physical needs of their students.”