Taylor Smith receives Georgia Power New Teacher Assistance Grant
Lowndes County Schools
Taylor Smith, a seventh grade English teacher at Pine Grove Middle School, has been recognized as one of 40 new teachers across the state to receive a $1,000 New Teacher Assistance Grant from Georgia Power. According to a recent national survey, 9 out of 10 public school teachers report paying for school supplies and instructional materials out of their own pockets. Additionally, research has shown that up to 50 percent of new teachers leave the profession within five years. Since 2004, Georgia Power has awarded the grants annually to provide new teachers with much-needed funds to purchase classroom supplies and encourage them to stay in the profession.
Teacher nominations were submitted to Georgia Power by the 20 Georgia public colleges and universities that have schools of education. To be eligible for the grant, candidates had to be in the top 25 percent of their class, be a first-year teacher employed by a public school in Georgia and demonstrate a high aptitude for teaching.
“Elevating the education of Georgia’s youth is critical to the continued economic vitality of the state,” said Pedro Cherry, vice president of community and economic development for Georgia Power. “Georgia businesses have a responsibility to support education and this grant program is just one of the ways that Georgia Power is showing our commitment to the state’s teachers and the important work they do every day in the classroom.”
A graduate of Valdosta State University, Smith will be able to use the grant to purchase critical education items to benefit students such as books, educational materials, electronics and other supplies. She was nominated by VSU Professor Sheryl Dasinger who joined Kevin McCraney, South Region external Affairs Manager for Georgia Power in a surprise classroom visit and check presentation.