The Douglas County School System has named the two High School Teacher of the Year candidates as Whitney Lester, from Chapel Hill High School and Jason Backus, from Alexander High School.Here's a portion of Whitney Lester's Teacher of the Year Application:
"I love teaching. I believe that each child is a unique individual who needs a caring and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature. It is my desire as an educator to help Students meet their fullest potential by providing an environment that is safe and invites the sharing of ideas. For myself, teaching provides an opportunity for continual learning and growth.
One of my hopes as an educator is to instill a love of learning in my students, as I share my own passion for learning with them. I feel there is a need for Compassionate, strong and dedicated individuals who are excited about working with children. In our competitive society I feel that it
is important for students to not only receive a good, solid educational but to work with someone who is aware of their individual needs. I am such a person and will always strive to be the best educator that I can be."
Here's a portion of Jason Backus' Teacher of the Year Application:
"Almost every time I tell people I teach math I get the same reaction of how much they hated math when they were in high school. This is one of the reasons that I strive very hard to make my classroom challenging, while at the same time have it be fun and enjoyable. Every year l have countless students tell me that my class is their favorite class, and I have many
parents pay me compliments because their child won’t stop talking about how much they like my class. It is very humbling to know that a student wants to be in a class where the focus is on learning the importance of the field of mathematics largely because of the atmosphere that I strive to create. This is what I consider to be one of my greatest accomplishments in education."
Each teacher’s county level application has been read and scored by a selection committee. The top eight candidates (two each from the middle and high school level and four from the elementary school level) also observed teaching in their classroom. The selection committee interviewed the eight candidates and have named a finalist for each area – Elementary, Middle and High School Teacher of the Year – as well as the overall Douglas County Teacher of the Year.
Recognition of all school level candidates will be held on Friday, October 4 at Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club, 8000 Capps Ferry Road, Douglasville. The reception will begin at 4:30 p.m. and the public is invited to attend. The announcement of the Douglas County Teacher of the Year and level honorees will be on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 2 p.m. during the annual Foxhall Family Festival at Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club.