Valdosta Daily Times

School News

October 29, 2013

Celebrating Excellence in Education dinner

VALDOSTA — Being a teacher, receiving recognition for your accomplishments is sometimes difficult. The teachers of the year at Lowndes County and Valdosta City Schools have not had that problem this year, and the recognition continues to come for the system wide teachers of the year.

On Tuesday, Oct. 29, the Valdosta North Rotary Club will host a teacher of the year banquet. According to Eric Johnson, member of the Valdosta North Rotary Club, “The goal for the inaugural event is simple: to celebrate, honor and support our public school educators in the Lowndes County and Valdosta City School Systems.”

During the banquet, themed “Celebrating Excellence in Education,” the system wide teachers of the year will be honored as well as all of the teacher of the year nominees from all of the city and county schools.

All of the net proceeds raised from the event will be donated to each of the school systems on a 50/50 basis.

The evening will be capped with a presentation from Ron Clark, two time New York Times bestselling author. Clark, known to many as “America’s Educator”, was named the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the Year and founder of the Ron Clark Academy.

The idea for the dinner came to Eric Johnson two years ago during the law enforcement dinner. He explained, “I thought something like this should also be done for teachers. Since this is the inaugural dinner, I wanted to make it really special and have a very influential keynote speaker.  We decided to go with Ron Clark as he is the most requested and sought after educator in the education profession today.”

Thanks to the huge support from the community, the dinner has sold out.  “After paying all expenses, we are able to give $22,000 back to the school systems.  In lieu of just giving each foundation a check, we have earmarked $1,000 for each school to be distributed to that school’s teacher of the year to use as he/she desires.  We felt that this would enable each school to have a portion of the proceeds versus just donating the entire amount to their respective foundations.  Valdosta has 10 schools and Lowndes has 12 schools, so they will receive 10,000 and 12,000, respectively,” said Johnson.

The dinner will be held on Tuesday evening in the Valdosta State University Ballroom at 6:15 p.m.

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