Educators compete for Teacher of the Year - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Educators compete for Teacher of the Year

January 14, 2004

Valdosta - Mrs. Cheryl Rice is the Valdosta school system's trophy teacher. "I try to make school fun for kids," said Rice.

And that's just what she does for first and second graders at S.L. Mason Elementary. Rice says her teaching mission is to make learning exciting and develop close relationships with her students. "I think academics are important, but kids remember school as a good experience if they have a good relationship with their teacher," said Rice.

Just down the road at Lowndes Middle School is another exceptional teacher, Mrs. Sharon Dickert. "I feel like its my responsibility to love, teach, and protect these children and that's what I try to do everyday," said Dickert.

You'll rarely find her students with their noses in a textbook. Like today's density experiment, it's always an exciting, hands-on lesson. "She always makes learning fun and interesting and we really remember her lessons," said Martavius Parrish, Student.

Along with their enthusiastic teaching styles, Mrs. Dickert and Mrs. Rice and something else in common. They're two of only 10 semifinalists for Georgia's Teacher of the Year. "I'm very honored to begin with, but also surprised," said Rice. "I think that shows the commitment our community has to education," said Dickert.

Six judges will visit both teachers classrooms on January 26th. The overall winner will be announced in March.

posted at 3:15 by ashley.harper@walb.com