ADEL – Mathew Holley, Cook County High School science, technology, engineering and math teacher, was recently recognized and honored at the Cook County Board of Education meeting as the Georgia State Air Force Association STEM Teacher of the Year.

Earlier this year, Holley was selected as the AFA South Georgia Chapter STEM Teacher of the Year in competition with applications from eight school systems in the four-county region of Lowndes, Lanier, Berrien and Cook counties, school officials said. 

He was selected in a state-wide competition as the Georgia State AFA STEM Teacher of the Year.

“A vital component of AFA’s overall mission is to educate the public on the critical need for a technically superior workforce through a STEM-based education,” said Sam Grizzle, Georgia State AFA president. “The young men and women who benefit from a STEM education will be tomorrow’s engineers, architects, IT managers and software developers. In order for our nation to maintain a technological advantage, we need a steady source of highly trained, innovative citizens, who will play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of our economy and help the United States remain a world leader.”

In recognition of his achievements, the AFA presented Holley with three checks totaling $850, two certificates of excellence, a personalized jacket and other awards.

Holley graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2007 with a degree in construction management and a minor in business. He received his master’s degree in adult and career education through Valdosta State University in 2015. He has 11 years of teaching experience with five years at Cook County High School.

The Air Force Association is a national independent, nonprofit, civilian education organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. 

AFA believes STEM teachers shape the future of the nation by introducing students to new concepts and offering a glimpse into what's possible, officials said. 

"The very best educators transform learning into a boundless adventure and prepare their classes to explore new frontiers of technology for the good of us all," they said. "Along with grants and scholarships, AFA believes that recognizing those who educate America's youth is an important aspect of what AFA is all about. Every year, AFA proudly honors the commitment and achievements of these extraordinary teachers."

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