Friday, July 30, 2004
Fulton names its 2004-05 employees of the year
Elkins Pointe Middle Schools Adell Atwood is Fulton County Schools 2004-05 Overall Teacher of the Year. First named the systems Middle School Teacher of the Year, she was then selected as the district winner from among two other Fulton County finalists: Beth Poole from Creek View Elementary School and Richard Williams from Milton High School.
The three teachers, along with 73 other Teachers of the Year in Fulton County, will be honored October 22 at a special recognition ceremony. Approximately 82 school assistants and support professionals, such as overall winners Deborah Mason from Woodland Elementary Charter School and Beckey Jones from the Kimball Bridge Professional Development Resource Center, also will be recognized for their contributions.
Adell Atwood Ð Overall Teacher of the Year/Middle School Teacher of the Year
Sixth grade math teacher Adell Atwood is a chameleon who inspires change in each life that she touches. The former businesswoman left a career of 22 years in interior design and public relations to pursue a career in education after a four-day substitute teaching gig became a more permanent, eight-week position.
After experiencing life in the classroom and seeing the success of her students, Atwood returned to Mercer University to pursue her teaching certification, and eventually, a masters degree in middle grades mathematics and social studies. Her first full-time teaching assignment was at Northwestern Middle School in 2000, and when Elkins Pointe Middle opened the following year, she transferred to the new school and has remained there since.
Atwoods teaching philosophy is four-fold: Love Them, Listen to Them, Learn from Them and for Them, and Lead Them. She strives to reach the reluctant learner and create in him a desire to learn. She vows to stay in touch with her students by reading the books they read, watching the television shows they enjoy, and even studying up on the latest video game. These small connections make large impressions, as her students see her as someone who truly cares about their generation.
As the districts overall 2004-05 Teacher of the Year, Atwood now represents Fulton County in the Georgia Teacher of the Year program, which will announce a winner next spring. She plans to use the coming school year as an opportunity to encourage other teachers in Fulton County to succeed, examine their goals and opportunities, and to have pride in their profession.
Beth Poole Ð Elementary School Teacher of the Year
A former accountant, Beth Poole has turned her love of numbers into a love of teaching. Instead of bookkeeping and filing tax returns, the kindergarten teacher at Creek View Elementary now helps young children master their numbers and alphabet, and instills other fundamentals of learning.
Feeling that a business background, strong communication and organizational skills, and an enthusiasm for the classroom would be a successful combination, Poole returned to North Georgia College and State University to earn a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education and later, a Specialists degree in Teacher Leadership. She began teaching in 1997 at Sweet Apple Elementary and four years later transferred to Creek View Elementary.
Pooles greatest rewards in teaching lie in her students enthusiasm toward learning and the delight in their eyes when they accomplish something they thought impossible. She works to develop each students confidence in his or her abilities and to develop a positive first impression of school.
Richard Williams Ð High School Teacher of the Year
Richard Williams, a ninth grade English teacher, first learned the power of teaching when he gently coaxed a terrified 13-year-old to put aside his fears of the water and wade into the deep end of a YMCA pool. Mr. Williams, then a day camp counselor, experienced how one person could change anothers life by simply guiding them with patience and compassion. As a result of his influence, the child became one of the YMCAs expert swimmers.
Williams embraced that lesson and became a high school English teacher, first in Cherokee County, and in 2001, at Milton High School. He continues to guide young minds by challenging them to think about life through the characters in their literature books. He encourages his students to find their voices in writing and stresses the importance of the classics while still emphasizing the works of contemporary authors.
A veteran with 13 years of teaching experience, Mr. Williams also supports his fellow educators as a mentor. Even as a seasoned professional, he still understands the challenges and pressures facing newer teachers and offers advice and encouraging words.ÊÊ
Deborah Mason, Overall School Professional of the Year
Deborah Mason from Woodland Elementary Charter School inspires students and teachers alike with her enthusiasm about science. Ms. Mason operates the schools science lab, which has upwards of 170 visitors a day and features hands-on science lessons, including a popular rotating zoology exhibit for students to learn about different animals and their habitats.
A school paraprofessional who is dedicated to helping others, Ms. Mason studies the state science curriculum and plans correlating activities for use in her lab. She researches new and exciting science programs for teachers and is quick to suggest activities to use in their classrooms. For several years she has coordinated the Imagine That Science Enrichment Program summer camp, attended by students across metro Atlanta, which gives children a place to explore their love of science.
Not just a science enthusiast, Ms. Mason also provides reading and language arts help to students through Woodlands after-school program. She is well respected by her Woodland peers as an employee who goes above and beyond to help students and teachers.
Beckey Jones, Overall Support Professional of the Year
Beckey Jones, manager of the Professional Development Resource Center at the Kimball Bridge Center, has made a lasting impression on thousands of Fulton County students. A 17-year veteran employee Ð 13 of those years as a school paraprofessional Ð Jones models lifelong learning through her support of professional development, often taking several courses a year to improve her skills.ÊÊÊ
Every day, Jones makes decisions regarding the instructional resources and workshop materials offered at the center. These resources have immeasurable impact on students, as they prepare teachers for the classroom and for staff development courses. In addition, her attention to detail has saved the school system $15,000 by working closely with vendors to streamline shipping and delivery procedures. The savings have been used for ordering more educational resources, further benefiting each teacher and student.
Copyright 2004-Fayette Publishing, Inc.