McDONOUGH — Ola High School’s Amanda Peabody has been named one of Georgia’s 44 best and brightest new teachers by Georgia Power.
Peabody is a 2008 graduate of Union Grove High School and a 2012 graduate of the University of Georgia. She began teaching architecture and engineering at Ola High School this fall. As one of the state’s top rookie educators, she will receive Georgia Power Company’s $1,000 new teacher assistance grant.
“It was an honor to be selected by my supervising instructor (Emelyne Williams) and the Workforce Education department at UGA,” said Peabody. “I cannot express the joy I felt when Emelyne Williams informed me that I would be one of this year’s recipients. I was very proud to be the first Career and Technical Education teacher in the state to be awarded the grant.”
Teacher nominations were submitted by the 22 Georgia public colleges and universities that have a school of education, said Carol Boatright, a spokeswoman for Georgia Power.
Boatright said eligible candidates had to be in the top 25 percent of their class academically, be a first-year teacher employed by a public school in Georgia and demonstrate a high aptitude for teaching.
Ola High Principal Ross Iddings said Peabody has shown promise to be a successful teacher at the school.
“We are very proud of Amanda for receiving this recognition,” Iddings said. “In her short time with us, Amanda has demonstrated all the signs of those first-year teachers that will be extremely successful in this career. We are very fortunate to have a first-year teacher of her caliber on our staff.”
Iddings said his new teacher has formed a strong connection with her students in her first few weeks of school and has challenged them to be involved in architectural drawing and design beyond the classroom by introducing them to the school’s SkillsUSA organization, which competes at the state and national levels in various career and technical disciplines.
Georgia Power’s $1,000 grant is designed to encourage new teachers to stay in the profession and to provide them with funds to purchase classroom supplies, equipment or materials not provided by their schools.
“Teacher retention is a national crisis and an important goal for our state,” said Pedro Cherry, Georgia Power’s vice president of community and economic development. “Georgia Power is proud to support this effort to keep these highly trained teachers in the classrooms. We feel businesses must lend their support to improving the quality of education in the state to make certain we have an educated workforce that will ensure Georgia’s economic viability.”
Peabody can use the grant to purchase items such as books, educational materials, computers and other supplies.
“I would like to use the grant to enhance my classroom environment with photographs and posters of renowned buildings and structures from around the world to inspire and show my students classic examples of architecture,” said Peabody. “I also hope to purchase various resources and technology as way to better my students’ learning.”