Bulloch Schools teachers receive awards, recognized by state and local groups for their leadership

Bulloch County Schools educators are recognized for their excellence and leadership in their schools, our community and our state.

Rogers elected president of state association

Members of the Georgia Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences have elected Kristen Rogers as their next president.

Rogers, a teacher at Statesboro High School, is the school’s Workplace Learning Coordinator and chair of its Technical and Agricultural Education Department. She worked for 14 years as a family and consumer science teacher before switching to work-based learning.

“We are extremely proud of Ms. Rogers and the leadership she has shown as she represents Bulloch County at the state level,” said Bethany Gilliam, director of technical and agricultural education for Bulloch County Schools. Bulloch.

Wellman wins state award

The Georgia Association for Career & Technical Education selected a Bulloch County educator for its Professional Career Counseling and Development Award.


Bethany Gilliam and Katherine Wellman

Katherine Wellman, a counselor at Southeast Bulloch High School, received the award at the association’s 75th annual summer conference held June 12-17 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Bethany Gilliam, director of vocational and agricultural education for Bulloch County and 2021-2022 president of the association, had the honor of presenting Wellman with her award in front of more than 1,500 vocational and technical educators from across the state. .

Wellman was nominated by the membership and then selected by the association’s awards committee. She received a plaque and a $500 stipend to attend the Association for Career & Technical Education Region II Conference to be held Oct. 5-7 in Virginia Beach, Va., where she will represent Georgia at the next level of competition.

GMEA will present the Whitaker program

The Georgia Music Educators Association will present Brent Whitaker’s Southeast Bulloch High School Choral Program at its annual in-service conference at the Classic Center in Athens January 26-28.

Considered one of the premier professional development events for music teachers, the association selects a limited number of choirs (usually four or fewer) each year to perform at mini-concerts during the event to showcase the best of what Georgia schools have to offer in choir. music.


Brent Whitaker

“Choir directors go to these concerts to see the pinnacle of what’s possible and to get motivated,” said Whitaker, who is director of choral activities and chair of the fine arts department at SEBHS, where he works. since 2001. “For me, it’s what opened my eyes to what a choir program could be, and immediately fired me up to try to become one of them. It’s a incredible honor for us, and this is the second time we have been chosen.

More than 4,000 music directors from elementary to college level, fine arts supervisors, students, school administrators, students and professional musicians performing with selected performing groups will be present at the event.

Whitaker, who holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in music technology from Georgia Southern University, created the choir program at Southeast Bulloch High School, which now includes an advanced choir, a women’s choir, and a choir the concert.

The program has achieved international acclaim, performing at Carnegie Hall, and receiving top honors at numerous national and state competitions, including twice being selected as Best Overall Choir at the Disney Festival in 2017 and 2022. Each year, up to 11 of his student singers audition and are selected for the prestigious All-State Chorus and All-State Reading Chorus because of the musical vocal and sight-reading skills acquired in Whitaker’s program.

McCombs Honored by Georgia Junior Science Symposium

Statesboro High School science teacher Rich McCombs has been selected as the 2022 Georgia Area Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Junior Science & Humanities Symposium at its annual event held on the University of Georgia campus. .

As part of the National Junior Science & Humanities Symposium, each state region selects a teacher who they believe demonstrates outstanding contributions to the advancement of student research. McCombs received a $500 stipend as part of the recognition.


Richard McCombs

The Georgia Junior Science & Humanities Symposium offers high school students from across the state the opportunity to present the results of their original science, engineering, technology, or math research to a jury to compete for sponsored scholarships. by the army. The top five presenters are invited to advance to the national level of the event.

McCombs is a three-time Teacher of the Year and receives the coveted honor at all three schools he served: Pahokee Middle Senior and Lake Worth High Schools in Florida and Statesboro High. He was also among the three finalists for the SECME National Teacher of the Year award.

Falcons pay tribute to SEB flag football coach

The Atlanta Falcons presented Bulloch High School Southeast flag football coach Marci Cochran with a state champion award at the NFL team’s first high school football awards show presented by Emory Healthcare on March 7 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Cochran, along with the team captains, led the school’s flag football team to a 19-win undefeated season and a Georgia High School Division I Class A-AAAA state championship Association in their very first season as a team.

The Atlanta Falcons have invited all Georgia High School Association football teams to attend the event to celebrate the best in high school football and crown the Atlanta Falcons High School Man of the Year .

First grade teacher honored

In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week in May, the First District (First District) Regional Educational Services Agency recognized Keri Brack, a first-grade kindergarten teacher at Mattie Lively Elementary School, as First Grade Teacher of the Year for Bulloch County.

“It was truly an honor to win such an award,” Brack said. “This award means so much to me. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher since I was little, so living it now really feels like a dream. It’s also extremely rewarding to see that all of my hard work is paying off. I love what I do so much and have had tremendous support from my colleagues at Mattie Lively.

“We are honored to partner with educators in Southeast Georgia and support the important work they do every day to serve students and communities,” said First District Executive Director Richard Smith.

A 2021 graduate of Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Brack is also currently pursuing her master’s degree at the university.

Oliver honored as outstanding mentor

At its 2021-22 biannual meeting, the Georgia Association of Colleges for Teacher Education presented educators with the Georgia Outstanding Mentor Awards.

Cindy Oliver, a teacher at Southeast Bulloch Middle School, was one of nine teachers recognized for their outstanding work mentoring future teachers.


Cindy Oliver

“I am thrilled to have been chosen as an outstanding teacher mentor for our region,” said Oliver. “As a long-time educator, it is vitally important for me to be a supportive mentor to my colleagues, especially new teachers to the profession. A mentoring relationship begins before teachers even set foot in the classroom – by making contact and establishing the relationship during hiring, and guiding those teachers through the induction phase with coaching, mentoring and support not only with instructional strategies, but also with classroom and behavior management skills. good.”

The association’s nine regional collaborations have each selected a teacher who, in addition to fulfilling their role of teaching children, models, instructs, encourages and invests time in the development of future teachers to ultimately improve children’s educational outcomes. . Oliver was selected by the P-20 Southeast District Regional Collaboration.

Oliver said being a clinical supervisor for the College of Education at Georgia Southern University has given him a platform to work with teachers-in-training and help them develop their skills for excellence through the teacher education program.

“At the end of my term as an educator, I hope to be known for my commitment to high expectations and high quality teaching,” said Oliver. “By modeling these attributes for other teachers, I will have helped maintain the level of excellence among educators, which will have a direct impact on the students of Bulloch County.”

The award is also co-sponsored by the Georgia Association of Educators, the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

Gilliam, Newkirk selected for Bulloch Leadership Class 2023

The Statesboro Bulloch Chamber of Commerce has announced its Bulloch Leadership Class of 2023. The 24-member cohort includes Bulloch County Schools Technical and Agricultural Education Director Bethany Gilliam and district school board member April Newkirk 4.

According to the Chamber’s website, Leadership Bulloch is one of its flagship programs. It is designed to expose business leaders to the opportunities and challenges facing the community as well as to promote and foster leadership development. The program educates and prepares community leaders committed to shaping the future of the community.

The 10-month program engages selected leaders in one-day class sessions that cover topics such as regional economy, health care, public safety, education, workforce, demography, diversification and agro-industry.

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