PSD hon­ors Gowens as Teacher of the Year

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Myrick and Lorene Parker PCSJ Staff

Be­ing the Teacher of the Year for Polk School Dis­trict is a big honor, and for 2018 the school board and fel­low ed­u­ca­tors gath­ered at the lat­est work ses­sion to cel­e­brate a hard work­ing teacher from Chero­kee El­e­men­tary.

This year, the Dis­trict Teacher of the Year is Jes­sica Gowens, who was cho­sen among the 11 schools through­out Polk County.

Jonathan Kirsh, Prin­ci­pal at Chero­kee El­e­men­tary, said she was se­lected be­cause of her ded­i­ca­tion to her stu­dents and peers in be­ing a team player.

“Teach­ing any­body or work­ing with any­body it all comes down to re­la­tion­ships, and that’s what really stands out the most with Mrs. Gowens, the re­la­tion­ships she has with her stu­dents, her team, or any­one that she works with,” Kirsh said dur­ing the Novem­ber work ses­sion where teach­ers were hon­ored.

Gowens, cur­rently a third grade teacher but hav­ing pre­vi­ously taught sev­eral other grade lev­els over the past years, but Kirsh said that she could work with any child and be a suc­cess­ful ed­u­ca­tor.

She re­ceived the award to a stand­ing ova­tion. Gowens will now go on to rep­re­sent the to the re­gional level against other Dis­trict Teach­ers of the Year.

Board mem­bers and ad­min­is­tra­tors of­fered their ad­di­tional praise for all those who were named Teach­ers of the Year for 2018.

“We’re so thank­ful dur­ing this sea­son of Thanks­giv­ing that we are able to gather here to­day and cel­e­brate and rec­og­nize all th­ese won­der­ful ed­u­ca­tors that we have in the room,” Su­per­in­ten­dent Lau­rie Atkins said. “It’s not just our Teacher of the Year. I’m look­ing around and see­ing our won­der­ful ed­u­ca­tors that we have sup­port­ing each other.”

The Teacher of the Year is an­nu­ally se­lected via nom­i­na­tions from other ed­u­ca­tors and then voted on by their peers, and for­warded for con­sid­er­a­tion for the honor at the dis­trict level.

Atkins said the award also came with a $500 gift from Shaw Hank­ins.

Cedar­town High School’s Teacher of the Year was Kim Allred, and Cedar­town Mid­dle se­lected Jen­nifer Tucker. Eastisde’s Teacher of the Year was Ali­cia Cal­houn, North­side sleected Jan­ice Pace, Van Wert chose Re­becca Shel­ton, West­side was rep- re­sented by Angie Ward, and Youngs Grove’s Teacher of the Year was Ni­cole Bent­ley.

Rock­mart Mid­dle School chose Brooke Wol­rey, and Rock­mart High nom­i­nated and chose Christie Mil­ton.

The Polk County Col­lege and Ca­reer Academy was rep­re­sented by their Teacher of the Year, Suzy Ward.

Dur­ing the Novem­ber work ses­sion, the board also elected to ta­ble three pol­icy items for 30 days for re­view be­fore they are sought to be passed for the Polk School Dis­trict, and also laid out the busi­ness be­fore them this week dur­ing the Nov. 13 ses­sion hap­pen­ing af­ter press time.

Among the ac­tion items on the list for the board to ad­dress in­clude the hon­or­ing of the M.E.R.I.T. Award, fi­nan­cial re­ports and field trip re­quests, ap­prov­ing a sur­plus list of items and the su­per­in­ten­dent’s re­port on the grad­u­a­tion rate in Polk School Dis­trict, and ef­forts to re­duce the dropout rate.

/ Lorene Parker

Jes­sica Gowens was joined by her fam­ily and staff at Chero­kee El­e­men­tary for a photo af­ter she was an­nounced as the 2018 Polk School Dis­trict Teacher of the Year.

/ Lorene Parker

East­side prin­ci­pal Wes­ley Cupp talks about his choice for Teacher of the Year 2018 at the Rock­mart-area el­e­men­tary school.

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