Thomasville teacher 1 of 16 finalists in national competition

Good News: Thomasville teacher 1 of 16 finalists in national competition

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - A Thomasville teacher, who says she’s more comfortable working out of the spotlight, is celebrating a major nomination for a national competition.

“I’m still just in complete shock," Jenny Holt said. "I’m just honored to even be nominated.”

During the day, Holt is a first grade teacher at Jerger Elementary. When she goes home, she’s a mother of two.

“I am not one that does things for recognition," Holt said. "I just do them because that’s what I’m supposed to do, and I love my job.”

But, recognition found her anyway.

“Just being from a small town in South Georgia, I never thought it would be a national contest that I would be a part of," Holt said.

A parent of one of Holt’s former students submitted her name to the Juicy Juice 100-percent Thankful Teacher Contest, writing: “Ms. Holt deserves this prize because she has shown exemplary dedication to her job, school, students, and their parents even in the midst of almost losing her own child. Indescribable.”

Holt’s daughter was rushed to the hospital in March and, throughout the summer, underwent a series of life-saving surgeries. Despite the personal stress she was under, Holt didn’t let it affect her work.

“Almost a mixed blessing in a way that the COVID shutdown happened at the same time that she got sick, because I was able to teach from the hospital room virtually,” Holt said.

A feat she says has been a team effort.

“Everybody’s been patient and supportive through everything, and that has made a world of difference,” Holt said.

Holt said winning the competition and one of two $10,000 grand prizes means financial breathing room to help cover the unexpected medical bills, but the real joy comes from being nominated.

“It feels great to know that what we do as teachers is appreciated,” Holt said.

Holt is one of 16 finalists in the competition. Competition winners will be announced on Sept. 30.

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