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Flanders represents McDuffie County's teachers well

Kelly Flanders should be commended -- not just for the things she's done, but also for the things she's said.

Last week, the Thomson High School English and drama teacher was named one of 10 semi-finalists for Georgia Teacher of the Year. If she's named Georgia's Teacher of the Year, she'll spend a year on a speaking tour and acting as an ambassador for Georgia's public schools.

And she'll be learning all she can to bring back home.

"Honestly, I think it would be a blast," Mrs. Flanders said of the potential of spending a year looking at other Georgia schools. "I would miss teaching terribly, but it wouldn't be forever. ... It would be kind of fun to go around and see how other people do things and bring a whole lot of wonderful ideas back to Thomson."

That's so refreshing.

Mrs. Flanders isn't in it for the name she would conceivably make for herself on the speaking tour.

She's in it to improve the learning environment in her classroom at Thomson High School. She's in it to learn. She's in it to become a better teacher, even though she's among the most talented and dedicated in her profession.

And to top it off, she's still humble -- almost speechless -- about the accolades.

"I'm still struggling to get my mind around it," she said. "Never in my wildest dreams could I have thought that this would ever happen to me."

We're glad it did and wish her the best of luck as she competes to be the top teacher in Georgia.

Web posted on Thursday, January 15, 2004

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