Lamar Reese Elementary Magnet School teacher Melissa Childs was named the Dougherty County School System’s 2013-14 Teacher of the Year Thursday evening. DCSS Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely, left, announced Childs the winner from among eight finalists.
ALBANY, Ga. -- Lamar Reese Magnet School of The Arts second-grade teacher Melissa Childs was named the Dougherty County School System's 2013-14 Teacher of The Year Thursday evening.
When her name was announced by DCSS Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely, it took Childs a few moments to gather herself and make her way from the rear of the crowded Hilton Garden Inn banquet room to the podium.
"Well, I am surprised. First of all, I am a terrible singer. I am not a dancer and I cannot draw," Childs said, referencing the various teaching talents of seven other TOY finalists. But I am grateful to my peers and the observers for selecting me. I'm not special, and all 27 teachers of the years are winners to me."
Childs, who has spent her entire six-year teaching career at Lamar Reese, said she was stunned when she heard Mosely call her name.
"My first thought was, 'oh, wow, now I have to go up there and speak in front of all these people'," she said. "I am very excited and very humbled. But tomorrow I will go back to my classroom and teach and do what I have always done."
Childs was among 27 individual schools' teachers of the year. That group was later narrowed to eight finalists.
The other seven finalists were Audrey Brown, Merry Acres Middle Magnet; Zatambra Jones, Sylvester Road Elementary; Shanda Morine, Robert Cross Middle Magnet; Eve Schroeder, Lincoln Elementary Magnet; Melinda Suber, Albany High School; Erica Wade, Lake Park Elementary; and Marcus Washington, Sherwood Acres Elementary Magnet.
Prior to the announcement, Mosely issued a challenge to the crowd of educators, families and friends.
"I challenge each and every one of you to look back on who made you who you are today," the superintendent said. "I'll bet you a dollar one of those people was a teacher. Always keep in mind that you are making a difference.
"We are also going to make a difference in this school system because we now have the people in place to make that difference."