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For Suber, 'pay it forward' has special meaning

Melinda Suber

Melinda Suber

ALBANY, Ga. -- According to Albany High Health Care Science teacher Melinda Suber, life is a journey filled with many twist and turns ... and she should know.

"I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined myself as a teacher. However, the best laid plans we make often stray from the charted path we thought they would take," Suber, one of eight finalists for Dougherty County Teacher of the year, said. "One day, unexpectedly, I found my life veering off into the world of education. Ironically, one of the factors that influenced my desire to become a teacher happened as a result of the role I performed in my previous career."

Suber was a paramedic and later an adjunct instructor for Albany Technical College's EMT and Paramedic program.

"I love to help others, either on the medical side or in school," she said. "I always tried to relate to the student on an an academic level as well as personal.

But on a more personal level, Suber said her time spent as a student in the DCSS, was also a major factor.

"I have a learning disability called dyslexia," Suber said. "With the help I received from caring teachers, who never allowed me to give up or to just settle for average, I gained the confidence and the ability to become whatever I wanted in life. I felt empowered and I wanted to help other students feel the way I felt, knowing that the only person who could prevent them from doing what they wanted to do was themself."

Suber holds EMT, Paramedic and EMS degrees from ATC, Darton State College and GEMA. She earned her teaching certificate from Valdosta 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.