ALBANY, Ga. -- Robert Cross Middle School social studies teacher Shanda Morine has a deep and abiding love of history which she uses to motivate and inspire her students.
"Teaching gives me the opportunity to work with children while passing on my love of history," Morine, one of eight finalists for Dougherty County's 2014 Teacher of the Year, said. "Social studies is thought of as a subject that is not considered important, but to me it is important because all disciplines can be integrated. As a member of the Dougherty County School System, I have encountered many wonderful teachers who influenced me to become a social studies teacher.
"I will be forever grateful to them because they made me who I am today."
Morine says she enjoys her work as a middle school instructor.
"I decided to teach middle school because they are torn between adolescence and young adulthood," she said. "I find pleasure in using compassion and humor along with a solid teaching style to reach each child. I encourage my students to think, learn, dream, try, and do.
"The reward for me is putting out a good product in our society, which is a well-rounded student being a positive influence in the community and amongst their peers. This means it is up to me as an educator to make it happen, and I happily accept that challenge."
Morine holds a B.S. in accounting and an M.Ed. in Middle grades Education from Albany State University and an Ed.S. in Reading and English from Columbus State University.
The DCSS's 2014 Teacher of the Year, selected from the best among a group of teachers from each of the district's 27 schools, will be announced Thursday at a banquet at the downtown Hilton Garden Inn.