Lee Co. celebrates future educators during signing day ceremony

Lee Co. celebrates future educators during signing day ceremony

LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - Ten bright seniors in Lee County are dedicating their future careers to educating students.

Lee County High School held a signing day ceremony Tuesday morning.

Senior Nicole Givens told WALB News 10 that she just wanted “to have a good impact on people growing up.”

“I want people to look back on their schooling and be like Ms. Givens, or whatever my last name will be, I loved her. I just want to have a good impact,” Givens said.

Senior Kendal James said she always wanted to be a teacher.

“Ever since I was little because I have little siblings. I’ve always felt the need to teach because I love being with little kids. Their imagination is all over the place,” James said.

Both young women said they’ve wanted to teach for as long as they can remember. They’re grateful for the teachers in their life that inspired them along the way.

Students Kendal James, left, and Nicole Givens, right, plan to pursue careers as teachers.
Students Kendal James, left, and Nicole Givens, right, plan to pursue careers as teachers. (Source: WALB)

“My first-grade teacher, Ms. Hatfield, she was like my mom,” said James.

“There have been a couple of teachers that pushed me, I guess, to know that I really wanted to do it. Like, Ms. (Danielle) Whitaker, Ms. Suggs,” Givens said.

Danielle Whitaker is an instructor for the teaching as a profession pathway at the school. She said she is proud to help students transform into educators.

“To give and give back is something that I’ve always thought of doing and wanted to do. As an educator, you’re giving and you’re pouring on a regular basis, so if my students can see an example in myself, I want them to take that same passion and pouring out to their future classrooms as well,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker said she hasn’t always planned to be the inspiration educator that she’s become.

“When I was younger I wanted to be a model or a lawyer. Those are my two professions in life, until fourth grade when I was at Twin Oaks Elementary and I had a Ms. Karen Clark. She was the teacher that was like, ‘hey I can do this,’” Whitaker said.

The future educators pathway allows the students to get three college credits and hands-on experience teaching while they are still in high school.

Givens said she’s thankful.

“I just want to give thanks. Thank you for Lee County High School and the pathway for really making us know what it feels like to be a teacher and have an impact on our future students’ lives. I just appreciate what they’ve done for us,” she said.

Said James: “And I say, if you want to become a teacher this is the pathway you want to do, it’s amazing.”

James will attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and she wants to teach first grade. Givens will attend Georgia Southwestern State University and she hopes to teach grades 6-12.

Copyright 2021 WALB. All rights reserved.