Teachers and other staff were honored Thursday night at the Tift County Schools Employee Recognition Banquet, held at the UGA-Tifton Campus Conference Center. Recognized at the event was the 2014-15 Teacher of the Year, Dr. Julie Rucker, and Tift County’s first-ever True Blue Award Winner, Kim Goodman, with the Pre-K Center.
Teachers and staff who were recognized are as follows:
Delois Rhaney has been with Tift Schools since 1996 and at pre-K since 2007. She said her greatest reward comes from lighting a fire for learning in her students and keeping up with them through the years. She hopes she can be as inspiring to them as her second grade teacher Mrs. Dunlap was to her.
Annie Belle Clark Primary
Samantha Walker has been with Tift Schools since 2003 and is a kindergarten teacher. She said her goal each day is to make each student feel loved and appreciated, and she knows she must consider their emotional needs before she can expect them to perform at school.
G.O. Bailey Primary
Karin Brown believes the teachers she had as a student helped to make her the teacher she is today. One told her that all children can do the hard work you ask of them - you just have to realize that each child’s work may look different, and some will need extra support. She has been working in Tift County since 2000, currently in third grade.
Len Lastinger Primary
When Greta Simmons became a special education teacher in 2000, she said she was initially scared. But that decision changed her life forever, and she said it made her know what her job as an educator was. Her reward as a teacher is when her students take one step forward toward their goals.
Chloe Phillips has been teaching music for seven years at both G.O. Bailey and now Northside. She has done a great job with Christmas programs and Dancing Drums as well as writing grants, working on the yearbook and heading up this year’s Read Across America Week.