Dawson County High School English teacher Jennifer Smith always wanted to become a teacher.
“This has always been God’s plan for me and I feel that as long as I am serving the kids then I am doing my best work,” Smith said.
Smith was voted as the 2017-2018 teacher of the year for DCHS, and was chosen for her love of seeing her students succeed and for her true passion for teaching.
This is Smith’s 20th year of teaching and she said she is incredibly honored to receive this award.
“Being recognized by my peers is such an honor,” Smith said. “I feel blessed to work with such amazing people.”
In Smith’s words, teaching is about relationships
“I think to be great at anything, you need to build trust and respect in your relationship with others,” Smith said. “Kids know if you care about them and at the end of the day, that is what teaching is all about- making sure that kids feel encouraged while challenging them to reach their personal goals for their future.”
Smith, 44, has been married to her husband Jason for 18 years and has a 14-year-old son, Luke.
She attended Georgia College and State University to get her bachelor's degree and later attended Georgia Southern to receive her master's in English education.
“I chose to major in literature because of my love for it,” Smith said.
The award is chosen is through a survey given to the teachers, and they pick amongst their peers of who has done the best job in the last year.
Although administrators are not allowed to vote, principle Richard Crumley thought his staff couldn’t have done a better job at choosing the winner.
“When I used to vote I would always choose someone who practices what they preached and someone that I would want teaching my children, and Smith fits the bill,” Crumley said.