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Governor honored for state's support of Troops to Teachers
Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue stands between veterans Tommy Thompson and George Amonette during an April 21 ceremony promoting Troops to Teachers. - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
Senior MSgt. Tommy Thompson (USAF ret.) and Lt. Col. George Amonette, (US Army ret.) presented a Georgia Troops To Teachers T-shirt to Gov. Sony Perdue for the state's support of the program on April 21.
Thompson has taught aviation technology at South Atlanta High School in Atlanta for 10 years, while Amonette is a first year, 2d grade teacher at Huie Elementary School in Clayton County. Both are members of the Georgia Troops to Teachers Program and both served for more than 20 years in the military before beginning second careers as teachers.  
Troops to Teachers is a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Defense. The program assists men and women who have served in the armed forces and are now seeking second careers as teachers. Eligible service members may receive federal funding to help become state certified and for agreeing to teach in high needs schools. The program is open to active duty military, as well as reserve and National Guard veterans.
The 2002 national Teacher of the Year, Chauncey Veatch, is a retired Army veteran, as is the 2004 Georgia Teacher of the Year, Robert Guy.  
Troops to Teachers candidates must meet the same certification requirements as any other teacher. The program does, however, provide financial assistance to eligible individuals in stipends up to $5,000 to help pay for certification costs, or a one time bonus of up to $10,000 for teaching in a "high needs" school.  
Since the program began in 1994, it has assisted more than 11,000 veterans become public school teacher. Georgia consistently ranks among the tops five states, having hired more than 650 Troops to Teachers, to teach in the state's public schools.
For more information on the Georgia Troops to Teachers Program visit the state web site at or call Bill Kirkland or Anita Bryant at (404) 232-2608.
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