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McDuffie County's Teachers of the Year to be honored Tuesday

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Jerry Snider , Norris Elementary School
Photo by Staff
The McDuffie County School Board will announce its Teacher of the Year at a banquet Tuesday, Oct. 25 at Belle Meade Country Club. According to Barry O'Neill, assistant superintendent, the candidates were chosen by their peers at the school where they teach. The representative of each school will be interviewed by a panel of three judges from outside McDuffie County to select the county Teacher of the Year.

Jerry Snider, Norris Elementary School

"No, I do not believe that I was born as a teacher. Teaching is a learned profession, a craft that must be nurtured and reshaped with every group of students each year. And, yes, I did return home to my humble surroundings where I hopefully have made and will be able to make similar lasting impressions on youngsters as these individuals did for me."


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Neal Tam, Thomson Middle School
Photo by Staff
Neal Tam, Thomson Middle School

"The call to teaching seemed to be a natural evolution to me. I have been inspired and influenced by so many teachers over the years, that I feel indebted to our local school system. Combine this love for public education with my personal desire to be a positive male role model and make a difference in the lives of the children of McDuffie County, and you can understand why teaching is a natural fit for me. I am passionate about what I do and am inspired daily as I walk through the doors of my building and see my granddad's name on the wall as I enter."


Ann Pereda, Thomson High School

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Ann Pereda, Thomson High School
Photo by Staff

"I have had some really bad times, but I have had more really great times. Every time an old student comes back and tells me they are making good grades in college because of things we did in class, or they call to visit and stay in touch, I am immediately re-invested in my job. The little battles that are won and the untold stories of things we go through to get the student graduated, those are the things that make it all worthwhile. Teaching is not a job you always get immediate return on, but the long investment is pretty darn good."


Jennifer Eriksen, Thomson Elementary School

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Jennifer Eriksen, Thomson Elementary School
Special

"My mother has had the greatest influence on my professional career. She has been an educator in the public school system for thirty-eight years in Alabama. To see the way she has touched so many lives by doing something that comes so easily and naturally motivated me to make the same vocational choices. She is very involved in the educational system both locally and statewide. Because of her involvement, she has been instrumental in helping disadvantaged students from low-income households make great academic gains."


Liz Evans, Dearing Elementary School

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Liz Evans, Dearing Elementary School
Photo by Staff

"My greatest accomplishment in education came in 1998. At our end of the year awards ceremony, a student of mine, Lauren T. got up on the stage and sang a song she had written about me. She had written the words as an assignment from our music teacher, and he supplied the background music arrangement. All this was done without me knowing anything! When she sang the song in front of the whole school, I was just blown away. It was, and always will be, the ultimate recognition. Here is her song:

How Short A Year Can Be

"I never realized how short a year could be,

'Specially with a teacher that's silly and full of glee.

You know I will miss you and I know you will miss me too,

Now this year is gone and we cannot go back,

It was fun, and I cannot change that.

I hope you like these words of praise from me.

But I never realized how short a year could be."


Jennifer Sandifer, Maxwell Elementary School

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Jennifer Sandifer, Maxwell Elementary School
Photo by Staff

"I called on a family friend who was, and continues to be, a special education teacher in McDuffie County. I asked her if she'd mind my coming to observe in her class. I spent an afternoon with her. While there, I saw students of varying ages and abilities. Regardless of their level of academic skill, they were all experiencing success. There were behavior problems, but the teacher had the most extraordinary gift to correct in a positive and supportive manner. These students faced daily challenges that I had never known, and yet they seemed to love school. I left that afternoon thinking, "I've got to learn more about this.'"



Web posted on Thursday, October 20, 2005











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