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