Teacher of the Year Nominees
*Elizabeth Arnold — Albany High
Helen Koneri — Dougherty Comprehensive High
Jamine Turner — Monroe Comprehensive High
*Gary Brian Collier — Westover Comprehensive High
James Middleton — Albany Middle
Kawanna Jones — Dougherty International Middle
Rhonda Harden — Merry Acres Middle
Natalie Poole — Radium Springs Middle Magnet
Cindy Marshall — Robert Cross Middle Magnet
Shaun Foreman — Southside Middle
Kenyette Shelton — Alice Coachman Elementary
Amber Davis — International Studies Elementary
Tiffany James — Jackson Heights Elementary
*Terri Sue Brown — Lake Park Elementary
*Phillip Burns — Lamar Reese Magnet
*Carolyn Edwards Ford — Lincoln Elementary Magnet
Kristi Timmons — Live Oak Elementary
Carolyn Harris — Magnolia Elementary
*Felita Cobb Lockette - Martin Luther King, Jr . Elementary
*Gistacy Brown — Morningside Elementary
Jessica Rose Edwards - Northside Elementary
Ashley Reese — Radium Springs Elementary
*Veronica Reese — Sherwood Acres Elementary
Kamina Martin — Sylvester Road Elementary
Camiella Payton — Turner Elementary
Chassidy Vaughn — West Town Elementary
Zeporia Bass — Albany Ear
ALBANY, Ga. -- The Dougherty County School System has released the names of 27 schools' respective 2012 Teachers of the Year -- including eight finalists for the system's Teacher of the Year.
The eight finalists include two high school and six elementary school teachers.
The Finalists are:
Elizabeth Arnold, Albany High School
Arnold has been a physical science and biology teacher at Albany High since 2005.
She holds a B.S. in Zoology from Fort Valley State University and an M/A. in Human Development from the University of Missouri.
She says her greatest contribution to the field of education is "my sense of optimism despite the challenges."
Gary Brian Collier, Westover High School
Collier has been a History, Economics, Government and Debate/Speech at Westover since 2007.
He holds a B.A in History from the University of Georgia and an M.A. in Education from the University of Phoenix.
Collier says he "constantly strives to bridge the connection between the school, the home and the community. My students come to me on the cusp of adulthood and leave my classroom two years later actively planning their careers."
Gistacy Veronique Brown, Morningside Elementary
Brown has been at Morningside since 2007 been an Early Intervention Teacher since 2010.
She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Albany State University, and a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction and an Ed.D in Organizational Leadership from Nova University.
Brown believes that "teaching is a life-long commitment to the personal, emotional and Academic needs of students. It is my genuine belief that every child is unique and capable of learning."
Terri Sue Brown, Lake Park Elementary
Brown has been at Lake Park since 2003 and teaches first and second grades in all subjects and third grade reading and language arts.
She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Georgia Southwestern State University.
Brown says "I am proud to say I am an educator that strives each and every day to reach into the soul of every child and light the fire of learning and believing."
Phillip Marquis Burns, Lamar Reese Magnet School of the Fine Arts.
Burns has been a third grade science teacher at Lamar Reese since 2008.
He holds a B.S. and an M.S. In Education from Albany State University.
"I believe that each child who needs a secure, caring and stimulating atmosphere in which to mature emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, physically and socially." Burns said. "It is my desire as an educator to help students meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking and invites creative ideas."
Carol Edwards Ford, Lincoln Elementary Magnet
Ford has been a math teacher at Lincoln Magnet for the past 12 years.
She holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Tuskegee University and an M.S. in Early Childhood from Troy State University. She also holds an Alternate Ed.S in Teacher Leadership from Walden University.
"There has not been a day in my life that I have felt I made the wrong decision (to become an educator)," Ford says. "It is my hope that I plant a desire to obtain success deep in the souls of my students. As an educator, I feel that I am leaving a legacy and making a contribution on which no price tag can be placed, or no trophy can be awarded."
Felita Cobb Lockett, M.L. King Elementary
Lockett has been with the Dougherty County School System for 21 years, the last 12 teaching all subjects.
She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Fort Valley State University and a M.A. in Administration and Supervision from Albany State University. She also holds an Ed.S in Instructional Supervision from Albany State.
"As a teacher, I strive every day to provide the same dedication, motivation, commitment, preparation, encouragement, praise, support and leadership that my first grade teacher provided me," Lockett said. "To know I have impacted their (students) lives my making it a little better is confirmation that we as teachers change lives."
Veronica A. Reese, Sherwood Acres Elementary
An educator with 13 years experience, Reese has been a kindergarten teacher at Sherwood Acres since 2007.
She holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Paine College and an M.Ed in Curriculum Instruction from Leslie University. She also holds a Ed.S in Administrative Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.
"As a teacher I have the opportunity to influence students in a positive way, helping them experience education in a positive way." Reese said. "If I influence one child I influence the entire community."
Northside Elementary's Chris Jones was the Dougherty County School System's Teacher of the year in 2011.
The systems 2012 TOY will be named May 8 at a banquet at Live Oak Elementary.
Judges for the 2012 TOY were Walter Judge, Sanford Hillsman, Chandu Kuntawala, Corene Hughley, Ashley Moore, Victoria Darrisaw, Dawn Hobby and Joe Davis.