Seven of Dawson County’s educators were honored Monday at the annual Teachers of the Year luncheon hosted by the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce.
Honorees included Jessie Venem, Black’s Mill Elementary School; Carolyn Wright, Kilough Elementary School; Chris Lundy, Riverview Elementary School; Jennifer Stowers, Robinson Elementary School; Cindy Bennett, Dawson County Middle School; Hilda Jackson, Dawson County Junior High School; and Paola Epstein, Dawson County High School.
Epstein, a foreign language teacher, is also the School District Teacher of the Year.
The teachers were nominated by their colleagues and interviewed by an external committee to determine a system winner, according to Lisa Perry, chief human resources officer for Dawson County Schools.
The luncheon program included comments from Dawson County School Superintendent Damon Gibbs, and Lynn Jackson who represented the event’s presenting sponsor, Northside Hospital Forsyth.
The principal of each school introduced their teacher of the year by sharing comments from other colleagues and observations throughout their tenure. Each teacher honored was given gifts donated by local businesses.
Northside Hospital Forsyth Administrator Lynn Jackson told the teachers that the event was a way “to show you a little bit of love for what you do, how much we admire you and how much you mean to us and to our children.”
“I hope that if there’s one thing you’ll carry away with you today, it’s that education is everybody’s business,” Jackson said. “You are here today representing education but all of us are in the business of what’s best for our community—and what’s best is for all of our community to be in support of our teachers.”
Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President Christie Moore said that “terrific teachers are one of our community’s greatest assets.”
“It’s our privilege to host the Teachers of the Year luncheon and to honor these men and women who go far above and beyond fulfilling their duties,” Moore said. “We are inspired by their passion, creativity and commitment to collaboration and cannot overstate how grateful we are to them for investing so much in our community’s future leaders.”