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Hall County Schools Teachers Of The Year
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Jennifer Anderson

School: Johnson High

Teaches: English and English for Speakers of Other Languages

Years at school: 6

Years teaching: 19

City of residence: Maysville

Quote: “I enjoy teaching because if I can make a positive difference in at least one student, it has all been worth it.”

Heather Banks

School: Oakwood Elementary School

Teaches: kindergarten

Years at school: 5

Years teaching: 14

City of residence: Braselton

Quote: “Teaching is the best job ever. Every day I get to laugh with and love on these precious children. I am able to inspire students to be their best while helping them grow in knowledge and skill. It is often challenging but always rewarding. There is no place I would rather be.”

Robin Bates

School: South Hall Middle School

Teaches: foreign language

Years at school: 14

Years teaching: 14

City of residence: Flowery Branch

Quote: “I enjoy getting to know my students and getting to see them for all three years of middle school, seeing them change and grow over that time. I especially enjoy seeing past students who tell me that something I taught them has helped them later on in another subject, or in whatever they decide to pursue after school.”

LaChele Brown

School: East Hall Middle School

Teaches: eighth-grade math

Years at school: 19

Years teaching: 15

City of residence: Lula

Quote: “Being a teacher brings joy to my heart …. To this day when I see a student that I previously taught and they remember me, I get so excited. I like to talk with them and see what they are doing with their lives. I love giving back to my students and seeing them become successful.”

Courtney Chambers

School: Riverbend Elementary School

Teaches: first grade

Years at school: 8

Years teaching: 8

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “I love to see the lightbulb go off in a child’s head when they understand and enjoy learning. I also love being able to care for and love on children.”

Kathi Chastain

School: Mount Vernon Exploratory School

Teaches: kindergarten

Years at school: 10

Years teaching: 10

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “I enjoy teaching because not only do I get to spend my days loving and being loved on by my kindergarten students, but I get to teach the foundational skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. I know that what I do directly impacts their future.”

Bob Comley

School: East Hall High School

Teaches: U.S. and world history

Years at school: 17

Years teaching: 46

City of residence: Oakwood

Quote: “I teach to provide useful information in a world where much misinformation is present.”

Dean DeVito

School: North Hall Middle School

Teaches: math

Years at school: 10

Years teaching: 15

City of residence: Cleveland

Quote: “I really enjoy the chance to interact and collaborate with kids, families and co-workers in a way that no other profession allows. This job is never boring, and working with kids to constantly improve, while helping them face challenges head on, is a great way to spend the day.”

Kelli Duck

School: White Sulphur Elementary School

Teaches: second grade

Years at school: 4

Years teaching: 4

City of residence: Talmo

Quote: “Each child that I teach has been placed in my class for a specific purpose. I enjoy helping my students learn to value themselves and what they bring to the world by increasing their engagement, boosting their creativity and transforming their life as a lifelong learner. This is my time to make a difference in many lives.”

Amy Gillespie

School: Lula Elementary School

Teaches: fifth grade

Years at school: 9

Years teaching: 15

City of residence: Gillsville

Quote: “It is so rewarding to see the students progress throughout the year. I strive to build meaningful relationships with my students and provide them with a challenging curriculum to ensure their learning. I strive to make a difference in the life of each child in my classroom.”

Nohemi Guzman

School: World Language Academy

Teaches: Spanish-language reading, writing, math, science and social studies

Years at school: 8

Years teaching: 6

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “I enjoy teaching because I have the honor and opportunity to inspire my precious and beloved students to imagine, ask, think, believe, investigate, try, make and fix mistakes and never give up.”

Kristy Hene

School: Sardis Enrichment School

Teaches: first grade

Years at school: 12

Years teaching: 12

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “There are lots of things I enjoy about teaching, but especially teaching first-graders to read.”

Jana Hensey

School: Tadmore Elementary School

Teaches: second grade

Years at school: 11

Years teaching: 12

City of residence: Braselton

Quote: “I love teaching because it’s so rewarding to see children grow. I think becoming independent is so important. I love how much knowledge they gain from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.”

Cindy Herford

School: West Hall High School

Teaches: chemistry

Years at school: 13

Years teaching: 23

City of residence: Oakwood

Quote: “I enjoy teaching because it is never dull, and I really enjoy working with high school students.”

Christa Holland

School: C. W. Davis Middle School

Teaches: media specialist

Years at school: 14

Years teaching: 14

City of residence: Flowery Branch

Quote: “I think that the students at this stage of life are the most fascinating bunch because they go through so many changes mentally, emotionally and physically during the short period of time we teach them. They are silly and nutty one day and then so very mature and sophisticated the next day as you watch them perform in school plays, Veterans Day assemblies, sporting events and chorus concerts.”

Jan Keller

School: Flowery Branch Elementary School

Teaches: music

Years at school: 7

Years teaching: 23

City of residence: Flowery Branch

Quote: “I enjoy watching students grow and discover new talents and new skills. I enjoy helping them learn how to focus on a task and work hard to accomplish that task. I enjoy their excitement and energy, and I enjoy their sense of pride when they have done something that was a challenge.”

Tam’ra Kerch

School: Lanier Charter Career Academy

Teaches: math

Years at school: 2

Years teaching: 22

City of residence: Buford

Quote: “Teaching is an opportunity to prepare students for their future as well as the future of our community and world.”

Jessica Lovell

School: Lyman Hall Elementary School

Teaches: reading intervention

Years at school: 3

Years teaching: 15

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “Teaching is something I enjoy because each day is different, and there is always something to learn. It is also rewarding to see the children grow in their knowledge.”

Tammy Lynn

School: Martin Technology Academy of Math and Science

Teaches: fourth-grade math, science and social studies

Years at school: 15

Years teaching: 16

City of residence: Flowery Branch

Quote: “It is such a blessing to be able to equip young minds with problem solving skills and relate what they are learning to the ‘real world.’ I always look forward to building positive relationships with my students and letting them know that I love and accept them just as they are.”

Deana Morfa

School: West Hall Middle School

Teaches: special education, self-contained autism classroom

Years at school: 4

Years teaching: 4

City of residence: Flowery Branch

Quote: “I love being a teacher to my students. I dare say that the students in my classroom are the hardest-working students in our school. ... The most rewarding part of my job is watching students who come to us with significant behaviors move on to high school having met their individual learning objectives, as well as, substantially minimizing their behaviors.”

Sarah Mudd

School: Friendship Elementary School

Teaches: special education

Years at school: 4

Years teaching: 4

City of residence: Buford

Quote: “I love interacting with the students and watching them grow academically as well as emotionally. Seeing my students progress despite the various setbacks we have daily is so rewarding. The thing I love the most is watching students begin to realize their own potential and having confidence in themselves, sometimes for the very first time.”

Ashley Rhye

School: Spout Springs School of Enrichment

Teaches: second grade

Years at school: 11

Years teaching: 11

City of residence: Flowery Branch

Quote: “Each school year brings new people into your life. Each lesson brings new perspectives. Each failure can help you solve new problems. Each success can be even greater the next time. I feel like teaching is one of the most important jobs of the human race, and am thankful that I am a teacher.”

Michele Rosales

School: Chestatee Academy of Inquiry and Talent Development

Teaches: math

Years at school: 15

Years teaching: 15

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “Out of all the professions, I feel like teaching has one of the greatest ripple effects in terms of making a significant impact. We teach, guide and join doctors, mechanics, lawyers, nurses, salesmen, Congress members and more on their journeys. Middle school and adolescence is a significant time in life when we start to become our own person. To have the opportunity to influence, encourage and support people during such a short and valuable time in life is a gift.”

Jennifer Rudeseal

School: North Hall High

Teaches: graduation coaching and tutoring

Years at school: 15

Years teaching: 17

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “I love the relationships I develop with my students and their families. Since I have been in this community so long, it is wonderful to have taught older brothers and sisters of my current students. These family ties help bridge relationships.”

Amanda Sills

School: Chestnut Mountain Creative School of Inquiry

Teaches: special education

Years at school: 6

Years teaching: 9

City of residence: Flowery Branch

Quote: “I enjoy teaching because I like being able to see the difference and the progress that my students make from year to year.”

Verena Skinner

School: Myers Elementary School

Teaches: first grade

Years at school: 9

Years teaching: 9

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “The look on a student’s face when the light bulb goes on and they finally figure out a concept brings such joy to my face and my heart.”

Julie Souther

School: Lanier Elementary School

Teaches: second grade

Years at school: 16

Years teaching: 17

City of residence: Murrayville

Quote: “I enjoy teaching because I have an opportunity to profoundly impact students’ lives academically and personally.”

Scott Tilden

School: Flowery Branch High School

Teaches: Advanced Placement macroeconomics, economics

Years at school: 3

Years teaching: 20

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “ I enjoy helping my students become successful academically as well as watching them achieve success after high school.”

Elyse Vandiver

School: Wauka Mountain Multiple Intelligences Academy

Teaches: kindergarten

Years at school: 9

Years teaching: 9

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “I love inspiring young minds and watching them grow as learners.”

Sabrina Waters

School: McEver Arts Academy

Teaches: fourth grade

Years at school: 13

Years teaching: 13

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “I teach because I love learning, I love children and I don’t have to completely grow up. Teaching is magical. Nothing in this world compares to the laughter of a child.”

Bambi Willard

School: Sugar Hill Elementary School

Teaches: English for Speakers of Other Languages

Years at school: 13

Years teaching: 18

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “My main focus is to help the students I work with cultivate their own sense of self and help to bring out their best. To see the sparkle in the eyes of a child learning new things and feeling good about themselves, that is what makes my job the absolute best.”

Leigh Wilson

School: Chestatee High School

Teaches: math

Years at school: 3

Years teaching: 3

City of residence: Gainesville

Quote: “I love math and sharing that passion, but the thing I love most about teaching is connecting with my students. I have the privilege of teaching some of the greatest students in Hall County. They make my job fun.”

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