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Snider named top teacher

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McDuffie County Teacher of the Year Jerry Snider accepts a plaque from Superintendent of Schools Mark Petersen.
Photo by Staff
McDuffie County's 2007 Teacher of the Year is anything but underqualified. Dr. Jerry Snider, Norris Elementary School's Teacher of the Year, was proclaimed the county's top teacher Tuesday night at a banquet at Belle Meade Country Club.

Dr. Snider has several degrees and endorsements which he maintains as an elementary gifted and talented educator: bachelors degree from Georgia College and State University, masters degree from the University of Georgia, and specialist degree from Georgia Southern University, all in middle grades education. He also has his doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Sarasota.

"As a classroom teacher, Dr. Snider is most impressive," Steve Rhodes, principal of Norris Elementary said in an introductory speech for Dr. Snider. "He consistently utilizes differentiated instruction strategies; assesses the progression of student mastery, and provides individualized instruction to students based upon their level of mastery of set standards."

From 1984 until 1994, Dr. Snider taught in Glascock and Fayette Counties, then for three years at Thomson Middle School, before heading to Norris Elementary in 1997. Dr. Snider's wife, Shelly, also teaches fifth grade science and reading at Norris.

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Thomson Elementary School Teacher of the Year Jennifer Eriksen is escorted to the lecturn by the 2006 Teacher of the Year Susan McFayden.
Photo by Staff
"We are always collaborating to and from school - yes, we ride together," Dr. Snider said. "I'm so thankful she's in the profession that I love. We deal with matters of the mind and heart, and we do make a difference."

In addition to teaching middle and elementary students, Dr. Snider has also instructed adults at Georgia College and State University, and was chosen by the Central Savannah River Area Regional Educational Service Agency to teach the Gifted and Talented endorsement course.

When Dr. Snider's name was announced as the Teacher of the Year, he approached the podium to a standing ovation.

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Dr. Snider gets a hug after being named McDuffie County's Teacher of the Year.
Photo by Staff
"Standing here is a lot scarier than first and second grade students; I wish they were here..." he said. "I am very humbled. It's amazing to be among such great professionals as we've heard this evening. I hope I represent you well at the next level. ... I am elated to be chosen. ... McDuffie County is a fine place to be in education. ... I am thankful to my students because they are so teachable."

Now, Dr. Snider will represent McDuffie County in the Georgia Teacher of the Year competition. Each county sends their Teacher of the Year, from which 10 finalists will be chosen. Site visits to each of the 10 finalists' classrooms and follow-up interviews will be conducted by a panel of judges. The state Teacher of the Year will be announced at a banquet in the spring of 2006.

The Teachers of the Year from each school in McDuffie County were honored at the banquet Tuesday evening. The other Teachers of the Year honored were: Ann Pereda - Thomson High School, Neal Tan - Thomson Middle School, Jennifer Eriksen - Thomson Elementary School, Elizabeth Evans - Dearing Elementary School, and Jennifer Sandifer - Maxwell Elementary School.

Each teacher was also recognized by Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce Chairman Steve Chalker.

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Thomson High School teacher Janet Bailey leads the Thomson High School Chorus during the ceremony.
Photo by Staff
"At the Chamber, we can try to solicit businesses all day long, but without future leaders, it doesn't mean anything for us to do that," Mr. Chalker said. "We are appreciative to all of you."



Web posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005











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