The Quitman School District planned to recognize its administrator and teachers of the year during a school board meeting Monday night.
Rhonda Williams was named the Quitman School District teacher of the year and Leah Ivey was named the Quitman School District administrator of the year. Williams teaches at Quitman Lower Elementary and Ivey is the principal at Quitman Upper Elementary. Other teachers recognized were Tammy Alford from Quitman High School, Hannah Walley form Quitman Upper Elementary School, Scott Benson from Quitman Middle School and Samantha Tucker from the Clark County Career and Technology Center.
Teachers of the year were chosen by their peers at the schools. Ivey said teachers were given a ballot that had certain categories. Categories included teachers having a positive attitude, having a good relationship with parents or students and creating an inviting, enthusiastic environment for learning with evidence of learning in the classroom.
Ivey said the administrator of the year is usually chosen by someone on the district level. The teachers and administrator of the year were named before Christmas break and Monday’s meeting allowed them to be recognized within the community.
“I was very shocked since it is my second year as principal,” Ivey said.
Ivey was happy to have one of her teachers, Walley, named as teacher of the year for the school. Ivey described Walley as someone who is like a mother to her students and prepares her students for the future.
“It’s more than learning from a book, she teaches them about life,” Ivey said.
Walley who is in her second year of teaching teaches English and language arts at the school, said she was humbled and surprised by the award.
The love of reading is one thing Walley said she tries to instill with her students. Walley said a lot of her students play video games, so she tries to teach them that reading a book can take them to places.
Walley said she loves her job and her students.
"You have to love what you do," Walley said.
Other teachers recognized:
Williams, who has 19 years of teaching experience, was named as the district's teacher of the year. She teaches kindergarten at Quitman Lower Elementary.
Benson, who has nine years of teaching experience, was named junior high School teacher of the year. He teaches science at the school.
Alford, who has 28 years of teaching experience, was named high school teacher of the year. Eleven out of those 28 years she was in charge of Future Business Leaders of America.
Tucker, who has been with the district for the last six years, was named the Clarke County Career and Technology teacher of the year. Tucker teaches the district's culinary arts program in grades 7-12
“The teachers and administrator who were chosen, best represent the expectations, work ethic, and dedication that the Quitman School District Board of Trustees, superintendent, and community require from educators in the Quitman School District," Superintendent Toriano Holloway stated.
For the first time, the district planned to recognize five community partners during Monday's meeting: Clarke County Sheriff's Department, Clarke County Board of Supervisors, McDonald's, Greer’s Cash Saver and the Dart Foundation.
Shea Goff, public relations representative for the district, said the Dart Foundation has helped the students get one-to-one computer access. In August 2018, the district received $90,000 from the Dart Foundation that will help the schools implement STEM programs.