Thomas County School System officials have named Erin Hall, second grade interventionist at Garrison-Pilcher Elementary, as the District Teacher of the Year.
“Words cannot express how incredibly honored and grateful I am to represent the Thomas County School System as Teacher of the Year,” Hall said. “My family, friends, coworkers, and administration support me in my passion for children and education. Without their support, I would not be able to make such an impact on the students I serve.”
Hall has been a teacher for five years with Thomas County Schools. She taught PreK for two years at Hand-In-Hand and three years at Garrison-Pilcher, with one year in a second grade classroom and the past two years as the Second Grade Interventionist.
“As the interventionist, I work with students who have significant reading and math difficulties,” Hall said. “For those students, it would be easy for them to become frustrated with school and learning. My goal is to encourage them to love reading and math, even when it is difficult. To see the look on a student’s face when they finally achieve a goal that they didn’t believe was possible is the reason I continue to love my job as an educator every day.”
Hall attended Garrison-Pilcher, Cross Creek, Thomas County Middle School, and graduated from Thomas County Central High School.
Hall said, “I have always known I was meant to be a teacher. My mom has videos of me ‘teaching’ to my stuffed animals when I was a little girl. Growing up in the Thomas County School System was an amazing experience that I will cherish forever, especially the early elementary years.”
Garrison-Pilcher Principal Sharonda O’Neal said, “I am very pleased and excited that Erin Hall was named Thomas County Schools Teacher of the Year. She is an example of a true teacher leader. Erin thoroughly communicates with students, parents, colleagues and administrators to ensure that students are successful.”
Hall graduated from Valdosta State University with a degree in Early Childhood, a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood with Reading and ESOL endorsement, and currently is enrolled in the Education Specialist program for Teacher Leadership.
Hall added, “It is my personal belief that all students can learn when given the correct environment and tools they need for success. I also believe that it is an educator’s job to encourage and inspire students to learn.”
“She makes her learning environment student-centered, interesting, diverse, and fun for all learners,” said O’Neal. “I am very excited about her future. Erin will definitely continue to grow and flourish in her career.”
The Teacher of the Year (TOTY) process began in February. School winners were judged on a written application and an interview before an impartial committee. Judges submitted independent ratings for each candidate, and the person with the highest overall average was named District Teacher of the Year.
Melanie Chavaux, Associate Superintendent, who oversees the Teacher of the Year process, said, “Teaching is more than a job, it is a calling. The interview panel had a very difficult job in selecting the 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year.”
“We are fortunate to have such innovative and dedicated teachers in our system,” Chavaux added. “We are delighted to have Erin Hall as Thomas County's Teacher of the Year. Ms. Hall well represent our system well at the state level.”
Superintendent Dr. Dusty Kornegay said, “I congratulate Miss Hall on this milestone achievement in her career. To achieve this distinction so early in her career is a testimony to her talent, passion, and dedication. I feel very fortunate to have her as part of our school system family, and she is a great representative of the many fine teachers that we have throughout our district. I know that she will represent us well at the state-level competition.”