Terrie Ponder, an Arkansas native who’s taught with the school system since 2005, received her specialist degree in media and instructional technology, and Carrollton Junior High principal Todd Simpson said it shows — her class even has an online blog and Twitter account.
Simpson read from Ponder’s teaching philosophy, saying, “Teaching cannot be stagnant; it must be ever-changing. It must meet the needs of all students today, not the students of yesterday.”
Along with Ponder, three other teachers from the system’s schools were recognized as school-wide teachers of the year: Karen Warren, a special education teacher at Carrollton Elementary; Susan Gordy, a math teacher at Carrollton Middle; and Steve Martin, a statistics and math teacher at Carrollton High.
Ponder said she is “humbled” by the honor, saying she did not expect to win the systemwide award.
“My kids have had Mr. Martin and Ms. Gordy, and they loved them both so much,” she said. “It’s unbelievable that I would get this.”
The board also recognized the elementary school and its leadership for attaining a Gold Medal Award from the Georgia Student Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) Honor Roll Program.
An initiative launched last spring by Gov. Nathan Deal, SHAPE launched last spring and promotes healthy eating habits and physical activity in more than 2,400 Georgia public schools in an effort to combat the growing problem of childhood obesity and the health problems associated with it.
CES was selected as one of 39 public schools in the state to earn the medal.
“All of these various things have continued to help us provide the students of Carrollton Elementary School with the healthiest meals and an active school environment,” said Anna Clifton, principal. She also noted the cooperation of her teachers and staff contributed greatly to the success of the initiative, as well as the leadership of Linette Dodson, director of school nutrition.
Carrollton Elementary was recognized for several initiatives that support SHAPE, including the school’s designation as a USDA Healthier US School Challenge Gold Level School, a federal initiative that also promotes healthy eating and physical activity; the school’s wellness committee; a student Nutrition Advisory Council, a group that participates in nutrition education and healthy cooking activities; Jump Rope for Heart, an annual fundraiser for the American Heart Association; and a 5K race sponsored by the PTVO.
In his monthly report of the SPLOST receipts, Edwards reported the first decrease in funding in what he called “a very long time of upward trending.”
The receipts for the month of August were $224,000, down $15,000 from the previous month. Edwards, as well as other members of the board, said August’s Tax Free Holiday could have been responsible for the decrease.
“We’re hoping it’s just an aberration, a fluke, and that we can get back to the previous trend, which was going great,” Edwards said.