As friend Zelda White-Davis looks on, the Dougherty County School System’s 2014-15 Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Lewis-Polite, right, greets well wishers Thursday night after being named as the system’s best teacher. (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)
Dougherty County 2014-15 Teacher of the Year Named
On Thursday night, Jennifer Lewis-Polite, a teacher at Lincoln Elementary Magnet School, was presented with the Dougherty County School System's 2014-15 Teacher of the Year Award by DCSS Superintendent David "Butch" Mosely.
ALBANY — Before Jennifer Lewis-Polite left her fourth-grade class at Lincoln Elementary Magnet School Thursday afternoon, one of her students told her she was going to be teacher of the year. As things turned out, the student was prophetic.
Later that night Lewis-Polite was named Dougherty County’s 2014-15 Teacher of the Year during a banquet at Hilton Garden Inn.
After accepting her Teacher of the Year ring from DCSS Superintendent Butch Mosely, Lewis-Polite choked back sobs of joy and was handed a handkerchief by her daughter, Jai’lin. Then, she regained her composure.
“I’d just like to thank God … I really don’t know what to say,” Lewis-Polite said. ” I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many children and I love each and every one of them. Just to know that I have impacted somebody’s life and to know that to someone I am the best part of their today. Before I left (class) today, they blew kisses at me and a little one said, ‘Ms. Lewis-Polite, you will be the teacher of the year.’”
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I said I hope you won’t be disappointed if I’m not. She said “oh, I’m not going to be disappointed.”
“So, I thank her, and I thank my daughter who is the love of my life. I work with the best administrators in the world. God bless.”
This year’s nominees were drawn from all 24 schools in the district before finally being whittled down to eight finalists. In addition to Lewis-Polite, Victoria Green Brackins, Albany High School; Sarah Bivins, Dougherty Comprehensive High School; Tracey L. Wingfield, Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of the Arts; Sandra Kay Masters, Jackson Heights Elementary School; Yolanda Maria Bryant, Lamar Reese Magnet School of the Arts; Patricia Ann Littleton, Live Oak Elementary School; and Martez Favis, Sherwood Acres Elementary School were among the final eight.
“Words really escape me right now,” Lewis-Polite said later. “To me it is nice to be rewarded for trying to be the best educator to my students. God is right when he says ‘don’t grow weary in doing good.’ Many people played a role in tonight and I want to especially thank all the teachers I had who helped nurture me into who I am today.”
In addition to naming its Teacher of the Year, the system also honored retiring educators Zora Allen, Kathy Barnes, Shawn Bush, Barbi Fisher, Anza Holmes-Flood, Margaret Griffis, Velma Hamon, Felicia Hawkins, Charlotte Ledford, Pat Victor, Develyn Watson and Lt. Col. Ted Wright.