Nearly 200 faculty, staff and community members gathered inside Bradwell Institute’s cafeteria on Nov. 8 for Liberty County School System’s 2020 Teacher of the Year celebration. Out of 15 nominees, one from each school in the district, one teacher was selected to represent the district at the state level for 2020. LCSS’s 2020 winner is Frank Long Elementary Gifted Resource Teacher Becky Busby.
Fourteen of the nominees were women, with Eddie Mitchell representing Liberty College and Career Academy. However, Mitchell was unable to be present due to unforeseen circumstances the night of the ceremony.
Each teacher received their nomination from the principal of their respective schools. The other nominees included: Melissa McCallar from Bradwell Institute; Jeree Sharpe from Button Gwinett Elementary; Timmolyn Harvey from Horizons Learning Center; Angelaque Singleton-Carnegia from Joseph Martin Elementary; Melissa Thomas from Lewis Frasier Middle School; Jeci Bohannon from Liberty County High School; Natalie Mondesir from Liberty Elementary; Janna Ramirez from Lyman Hall Elementary; Cristina Dover from Midway Middle School; Fascenda Evans from Liberty Pre-K Center; Kendra Chapman from Snelson-Golden Middle School; Kay-Lyn Boyett from Taylors Creek Elementary; and Felecia Thomas from Waldo Pafford Elementary.
The event’s speakers included Liberty County Board of Education Chair Lily Baker, Vice-chair Verdell Jones and the guest speaker was Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown. Each speaker congratulated the nominees, echoing similar sentiments.
“Teaching is a tough job, and it’s gotten tougher,” Brown said. “In the midst of difficulty, you must challenge, inspire, excite, influence, discipline, educate, instruct and prepare. Teaching is hard.”
“Your peers chose you,” Baker said. “Congratulations.” Each nominee was featured in a tribute video that included best wishes from co-workers and students alike.
Director of Human Resources Michele Dasher provided some background on the district Teacher of the Year before the name was announced. Dasher said that the district level winner will represent the district at the state level for the 2020 school year. The Georgia Teacher of the Year program annually spotlights the teaching profession and recognizes outstanding public school teachers at the local and state level, Dasher continued.
“It is a prestigious award program to focus attention on excellence in teaching,” Dasher said. “The candidate for Teacher of the Year possesses many qualities. While tonight there may only be one district level winner, all of our school level teacher of the years are winners to us and stand out above the rest. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to our students, and remember that all of you shine in our eyes.”
When Busby’s name was announced, she burst into tears. Busby has been instrumental this year in coordinating events, such as the extremely successful NASA day held in September. Busby credited her success to the many wonderful teachers she had growing up, helping her “become who she is today.” Busby encourages her students to “Dare Mighty Things” and embrace every opportunity they can.
“Teaching affords me an opportunity that allows me to be an encourager, instructor, guide, mentor and influence on the world,” Busby said. “I am thankful to God for each and every opportunity.”
“Thank you for all that you are doing, and all that I know you will do in the future for the children of this great Liberty County,” Superintendent Dr. Franklin Perry said. “A big thank you to all teachers across our district. We have awesome teachers. We’re thankful for that. Congratulations to each Teacher of the Year, you represent your school well and we’re proud of you. Special congratulations to Miss Busby for being selected LCSS’s Teacher of the Year. We know that you will represent us well at the State Teacher of the Year competition.”
Long County School System also announced their Teacher of the Year at the Oct. 22 regular schoolboard meeting.
Alisa Whiteman, a self-contained resource teacher at McClelland Elementary School was chosen to represent the district as the 2018-19 Teacher of the Year.