The Valdosta Daily Times
On Thursday evening, Valdosta City Schools held its annual teacher of the year banquet, honoring each of the school's teachers of the year and also naming the system- wide teacher of the year — Billie Ann Page of Sallas Mahone Elementary.
The program opened with special words from Jennifer Steedley, Director of Public Relations, Bill Love, District 6, and Dr. Alvin Hudson, Assistant Superintendent.
"We are so grateful for your dedication and passion. You come to school every day knowing you are contributing to the success of our students," said Hudson.
Love, speaking on behalf of the Valdosta Board of Education, said, "We have a great system. We have great teachers in our schools. I am very proud of them." He also spoke about the continued growth within Valdosta's school system, the new projects currently underway and how happy he was to be part of such a great system.
Each school within the Valdosta City School system nominated a teacher of the year and each teacher of the year was brought forward to be recognized and have some quotes from their applications shared.
System-wide teacher of the year Page's quote stated, "My greatest accomplishments lie in the everyday moments I get to live with my students." She also added in her thank you speech, "I am so honored. I know that there are so many other teachers that deserve this. There are so many of you in this room that drive me and motivate me and challenge me to be the best teacher I can be. I thank you and I share this with all of you and so many more across the system. God knew what he was doing when he put me at Sallas Mahone 10 years ago and I've never once wanted to leave. I love our system and I am so honored to represent you."
Alicia Clarke was named the teacher of the year for J.L. Lomax Elementary. Her quote was, "I have made it my personal mission to work and render service to all mankind."
Amy McDade was named teacher of the year for W.G. Nunn Elementary. Her quote was, "I wanted to help foster a love of learning in children, to give them that gift as my grandmother did for me."
Mary Beth Sebring was named teacher of the year for S.L. Mason Elementary. Her quote said, "I enjoy serving others while helping build a stronger community."
Johnnie L. Marshall Jr. was named teacher of the year for Valdosta Early College Academy. His quote said, "I believe that all students have the ability to learn when stakeholders hold the pupils to high expectations and inspect the progress of such intellectual and moral principles."
Paris Darby was named the teacher of the year for Pinevale Learning Center. Her quote said, "Teaching is not only in my family, teaching is in my heart and soul."
James L. White was named the teacher of the year for Valdosta High School. His quote was, "I want to establish relationships that are mutually respectful, motivationally charged and emotionally supportive."
Melanie Chastang was named the teacher of the year for J.L. Newbern Middle School. Her quote read, "My most important contribution is that I encourage students to understand the power of their thoughts."
Ashley D. Berry was named the teacher of the year for Valdosta Middle School. Her quote said, "As a team player, it is important to contribute towards all student's education and not just those students on my roster."
Marguerite Tullos was named the teacher of the year for Southeast Elementary. Her quote read, "The truth is that my biggest accomplishments in education aren't big at all, they are small moments with individual students…"
Superintendent E. Martin Roesch named the system wide teacher of the year and also concluded the program. "We are extremely proud of each of you. We wish we could give this title to all of you because you would all be great representatives for Valdosta City Schools. You all stand at the forefront doing what is right. You face the battles and show our students how to do it the right way. No one knows what you do unless they walk in your shoes. They don't know what it truly means to be an educator, like you all know," said Roesch.