Heath Stallings has a great job.
He delivers frozen smiles across Georgia.
Last week, the territory manager for Blue Bell Creamery, stopped at Thomson High School to celebrate one of Georgia's Teacher of the Year top 10 finalists - Robin Dudley, who teaches healthcare science technology at THS. Mr. Stallings visited Mrs. Dudley's classroom last Wednesday morning and presented her with four half-gallon cartons of her favorite flavor - Dutch Chocolate.
"It's a great job," Mr. Stallings said. "I get to hear 'thank yous' all day long."
High school Principal Rudy Falana, Assistant Principal Lynn Cato, McDuffie County Superintendent Mark Petersen, Assistant Superintendent Barry O'Neill and Federal Programs Director Beth Newton also attended the presentation.
Mrs. Dudley later shared the ice cream with her students.
"This would not have happened without you," Mrs. Dudley said to her students at the presentation. "A teacher can't teach if her children don't want to learn."
Plus, she didn't want to eat it all herself.
"If I ate the whole thing myself, I'd weigh 400 lbs.," she said with a laugh.
As is her habit with visitors to her class, Mrs. Dudley took the opportunity to show off her students, their work, past projects, and invited Mr. Stallings to question the students on their current lesson, which was stringing beads to model neurons.
"Compared to my teachers when I was in school, I'm amazed," Mr. Stallings said after his visit. "I've never seen a teacher with so much passion and enthusiasm."
Mr. Stallings said his wife is a preschool teacher, and "there's no way I could ever be a teacher." He also said this was the first high school he had visited. His other deliveries were to elementary schools.
"Teaching high school is so much fun," Mrs. Dudley told him. "The students do not have any intellectual boundaries."
Ms. Cato said Thomson High also received ice cream four years ago when Kelly Flanders was a state finalist. In addition to the Dutch Chocolate to Mrs. Dudley, Mr. Stallings brought ice cream sandwiches for every student and faculty member in the school.
"It's a great thing to do," said junior Chris Butler, who helped pass out the treats Thursday during the lunch period. "Every one likes the ice cream."