Three teachers have been selected as finalists for the 2017 Teacher of the Year recognition program for Floyd County Schools. The three finalists are Michelle Arp, a business education teacher at Armuchee High School; Keith Reedy, a special education teacher at Pepperell High School; and Sue Turnquist, a fifth-grade science and social studies teacher at Model Elementary School.
Michelle Arp not only teaches business education to grades nine through twelve at Armuchee High School but she is also the girl’s head basketball coach, Business Department chair, and sponsor of Future Business Leaders of America and Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Armuchee. She is in her tenth year of teaching and has been at Armuchee High for nine. Ms. Arp is an Armuchee High graduate and completed her undergraduate degree at Shorter College. She received a master’s degree from the University of Georgia and a specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University.
"Each day I welcome students into the classroom, it is my goal to inspire them to become their best, to believe they can, challenge them to work through problems and have a desire to succeed," Arp wrote in her teacher of the year application. “It is the moment when you see a student’s face light up with a smile that represents a life connection that makes each day gratifying.”
Keith Reedy teaches self-contained special education at Pepperell High School. He began teaching in 1978 at Piedmont High School in Piedmont, Alabama before moving to Pepperell High School in 2003. Reedy set up the first program of instruction for students with a learning disability at Piedmont High. He is a graduate of Jacksonville State University and he received a master’s from the University of Alabama in special education learning disabilities.
“A teacher works for future results that he may not even see and is not confounded or discouraged when positive change is slow to be revealed in a student,” wrote Reedy in his application. “My beliefs about teaching are demonstrated in my personal teaching style that recognizes the value and worth of every student. My greatest accomplishments are reflected in the improved lives of my students and in brighter outlooks for their future .”
Sue Turnquist teaches science and social studies to fifth-graders at Model Elementary School. She is in her twenty-second year of teaching in Floyd County Schools and her eighteenth year at Model. She began her career at Midway and made a two-year stop at Model Middle before finding a home at Model Elementary. Turnquist developed the positive behavior “House System” program at Model that links students in a group called a “House” that allows them to work together across grade levels. The system provides safe zones where children and teachers connect with and look out for one another. Turnquist received an elementary education degree from Berry College and a master's degree from the University of Alabama.
"I believe that motivating a student starts with making learning fun and exciting," Turnquist wrote in her application. “I constantly weave a personal touch into my lessons as I wear my prairie girl dress and hat to introduce the Oregon Trail, sing a made up rap song about plant and animal cells, dance the Charleston while learning about the Roaring 20’s or tell a personal story that allows students to see my own excitement for learning.” She added, “My classroom is a place where high fives, cheers and peer recognition are given often and where empathy and understanding of one another is a must.”
The three top teachers will continue in the selection process to determine the 2017 Teacher of the Year for Floyd County Schools. The process will include a personal interview and a classroom observation of each teacher working with students. The interviews will be held on Thursday, September 15 at the Floyd County Board of Education Office. The selection process will conclude on Wednesday, September 21 with classroom observations in the teacher’s classrooms.
The finalists for Floyd County Teacher of the Year were selected by a review committee made up of members of the Rome/Floyd Retired Educators Association. The committee made the selections from written applications submitted by the teacher of the year representatives from each school in the Floyd County school system. The review committee will also make the final selection of Teacher of the Year for Floyd County Schools from the three finalists.
The 2017 Teacher of the Year will be honored on October 13 at 6:00 p.m. during the regular monthly meeting of the Floyd County Board of Education. The Floyd County Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by Northwest Georgia Credit Union.