By Leila Dycus, Staff Writer (Photos by Jesse Walker and Josiah Connelly
Leila Dycus Staff Writer ach year teachers in public schools across the state nominate their peers to represent their school as teacher of the year. According to the Georgia Department of Education’s website teachers of the year inspire students and play an active role in the school and community. To be eligible to be a teacher of the year the educator must be on active teaching status and plan to continue teaching.
Recently, the four Morgan County Public Schools announced their teachers of the year: MCPS Lamb Eggers, MCES Connie Cunningham, MCMS Angela Stapleton and MCHS Amy BeMent. Eggers is a second grade teacher at MCPS. After teaching in Atlanta for 10 years Eggers came to Morgan County. She has taught at MCPS for the past 10 years.
“I feel very honored and humbled to be elected by my peers, said Eggers. “I stand among giants in Morgan County.”
Eggers said that she has learned that children learn in many ways and styles. She has learned that teaching one way will cause her to lose some of her students. This lesson has inspired Mrs. Eggers to teach concepts multiple ways to better reach everyone.
“I love that each day of my job brings something new and different,” said Eggers.
Lamb went on to say that she enjoys seeing young children discover and learn. “There’s nothing quite like watching that light come on,” said Eggers.
Egger’s love for her students and her desire to find new ways of teaching them have earned her MCPS Teacher of the Year. This year Morgan County Elementary selected Connie Cunningham as their teacher of the year.
Connie is in her 23 year of teaching at MCES. She teaches Social Studies and Language Arts. Mrs. Cunningham describes her days with her students as being filled with reading books, discussing themes, and learning to be effect creative writers. She went on to describe how children are unique learners.
“There is never a dull day with my job,” said Cunningham. Connie said that she appreciates that her peers recognize her commitment to education for the children of Morgan County. “I am proud of MCES and know that all our teachers work as a team for the good of our children and Morgan County,” said Cunningham.
It is Cunningham’s desire to reach the students of Morgan County that has aided in her success as a teacher and lead to her earning this years Teacher of the Year award. Angela Stapleton was chosen to represent Morgan County Middle as teacher of the year.
Angela has taught at MCMS for 23 of her 25 years teaching. Before becoming a teacher, Stapleton attended school in Morgan County. Stapleton teaches eighth grade Georgia Studies and Reading. Her favorite aspect of teaching is sharing her love of history and watching her students learn things about their state that they never knew.
One of Angela’s favorite things is the eighth grade trip to Savannah. The trip allows students to not only learn about Georgia history but also have a life experience of time on the beach. For many of Stapleton’s students this is their first time walking on the shore and standing in the ocean.
She said that every year it amazes her how many of her students have never seen the ocean and that the smiles on their faces make the whole trip worth it. Stapleton believes that teachers are lifelong learners and being in the classroom allows her to learn something new every day. It is this drive to learn that pushes Stapleton in her teaching career.
“I am proud to represent my MCMS family,” said Stapleton. “There are so many others at my school that are deserving of this recognition.”
Amy BeMent is this years Teacher of the Year for MCHS. Currently, Mrs. BeMent is teaching 10th grade advance placement government, 11th grade IB economics, and 12th grade economics. She has been teaching in Morgan County for 11 years.
After working in two different full time jobs Amy had an epiphany that teaching was calling. She then went back to school got her degree and did her student teaching in Morgan County before becoming a full time staff. Amy says that her favorite part of teaching is helping students connect learning to life outside the classroom.
She describes her love of when a student has a light bulb moment when they realize the relevance of the curriculum to their life. Mrs. BeMent has learned that, as a teacher there will always be more to do. It’s a lesson her many years as a teacher has shown her. She describes the faculty at the high school as being incredibly talented and dedicated.
“To be singled out among them for recognition is truly an honor,” said BeMent. “I value the opinion of my peers because they are the ones who know what teaching demands of a person on a daily basis.”
As the teachers of the year pointed out the Morgan County School system is filled with qualified teachers. However, these four educators have stood out in the minds of their peers. Whether it’s recognizing those light bulb moments or sharing a first experience of walking on the beach these teachers have made a lasting impact on the educational community.