At a luncheon hosted by the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce on April 13, the Dawson County School System honored its Teachers of the Year for the 2020-21 school year.
Among the teachers honored at the luncheon was Dawson County Middle School Teacher Renee Rogers, who was named Teacher of the Year for both the school and the district.
Rogers, who has been teaching in the Dawson County School System for 32 years, said that being selected as the district-wide teacher of the year is a huge honor.
“I’m very honored and very thrilled — to be chosen to represent Dawson County is just amazing,” Rogers said. “I feel like I am very blessed to not only have been chosen but most of all to have had the opportunity to teach in the same county for 32 years and to watch kids that I taught a long time ago become the leaders in Dawson County.”
Rogers previously taught at Robinson Elementary and Black’s Mill Elementary, where she has been honored as the teacher of the year before.
After all those years of teaching, Rogers said that seeing her students understand what she’s trying to teach them makes it all worth it.
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“My favorite part is just watching a kid finally understand something; I can remember my teachers referring to it as the ‘lightbulb moment’ when that lightbulb comes on in their head and they realize ‘wow I really can do this’,” Rogers said. “Just seeing that lightbulb moment is worth it all.”
Dawson County Middle School Principal Randi Sagona said that she and the school’s other administrators are proud of Rogers’ accomplishment and are honored to have the teacher of the year for the entire district chosen from their school.
“Mrs. Rogers is a passionate educator who has been deeply committed to the youth of Dawson County for the past 32 years,” Sagona said. “She believes in the potential of every child she serves; she expects the very best for all her students and will do anything in her power to help them get there.”
In addition to Rogers, 6 other teachers of the year were recognized at the luncheon. Those teachers included:
Keith Pankey, Dawson County High School
Andrea Smith, Dawson County Junior High School
Rebecca Madsen, Robinson Elementary School
Jill Fisher, Riverview Elementary School
Sarah Stewart, Kilough Elementary School
Julia Morang, Black’s Mill Elementary School
The luncheon included comments from Superintendent Damon Gibbs, Northside Hospital's Lynn Jackson, and remarks from each school's principal introducing the school's teacher of the year. All of the teachers were then presented with gifts donated by local businesses.
According to Gibbs, school system leaders were very glad for the opportunity to honor exemplary teachers at the luncheon.
”I consider it such an honor to participate in the Teacher of the Year Luncheon where our very best teachers are recognized for making a difference in the lives of our students and school community,” Gibbs said. “These teachers were selected by their peers for going above and beyond to meet the needs of all students. On behalf of our Board of Education and district office team, I want to thank Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, Northside Hospital Forsyth, and all of the sponsors that put together such a special event for our amazing teachers."
Chamber of Commerce President Mandy Power said that hosting the event was an honor for her and her organization.
“Hosting the Teachers of the Year luncheon is one of my favorite days of the year. It is our privilege to honor these men and women who have such an important role in educating our children and future leaders,” Power said. “We are inspired by their dedication, inspiration and commitment to what has been an especially challenging year. We cannot express enough, the gratitude we have for these very special heroes in our community.”