New Teachers Celebrate Completion of First Year

Each year, all first-year educators in the Columbia County School District come together to celebrate a successful first year of teaching. Alongside their mentors, they reflect on the accomplishments of the year and receive recognition for their dedication to education. In addition to hearing from a panel of guest speakers, one outstanding first-year teacher is named Rookie of the Year. 

Special guest speakers at the event included the following: Georgia State Teacher of the Year, Tracey Pendley; Columbia County School District Teacher of the Year, David Phillips of Greenbrier Middle; and the 2019-2020 Rookie of the Year, Amanda Woods from Grovetown Middle. 

As a special addition this year, the Georgia Future Educators Signing Day event will be added to the program. In partnership with Augusta University College of Education, graduating high school students sign letters of intent to pursue a career in education. Some of these students have completed a Career, Technical and Agriculture Education (CTAE) pathway, and signers are guaranteed job interviews with the CCSD upon completion of their degree program and required teaching certifications.

“Celebrating our new, and hopefully future, educators is a great addition to our ongoing efforts to provide a pipeline of quality teachers right here in Columbia County,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Anthony Wright. “High school students get to see the end result of their plans to pursue education in these new teachers. Visiting with first-year teachers and seeing the supports that the CCSD offers, provides an added level of excitement and encouragement for our youth.”

Congratulations to Ms. Caroline Dekle, from Stallings Island Middle School, for being named Rookie of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year! 

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The Top Five Finalists for Rookie of the Year include the following: Kyle Cartledge, Grovetown High School; Kaytlin Guyette, Riverside Elementary; Amanda Kemp, Grovetown Elementary; and Kristy Oman, Martinez Elementary. Congratulations to each of these finalists! 

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New Teachers wrote letters to themselves at the beginning of the year. The End of Year Celebration was a time for the new teachers to look back on where they started, with their mentors. More than 30 new educators participated in the new teacher induction and end-of-year celebration this year. 

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Approximately 30 high school students graduating from the Columbia County School District signed letters of intent to pursue a career in education. These students are guaranteed a job interview with the Columbia County School District, after completing their degree and required certifications.