As a self-contained MOID teacher at Jackson Road Elementary, Joan Baldridge comes to school every day with the sole purpose of igniting fires. She works tirelessly to design her teaching to spark an idea, fan a flame and see recognition ablaze in the eyes of her students. She is passionate and committed to providing her students with every opportunity to experience mainstream activities and concepts. She has a true passion and drive to see her students succeed. Joan Baldridge is the district Teacher of the Year, 2018 Georgia Council for Exceptional Children Teacher of the Year and an Agent of Change.
The idea itself may not be unique to Griffin and Spalding County, but it is one that is making a difference in an area of great importance to the Griffin-Spalding County School System – literacy and reading skills. Brett Bell got the idea to promote Little Free Libraries from ones he heard about across the state. Working under the auspices of the Griffin-Spalding County Collaborative Authority, Brett presented the idea in Spalding County. The concept is simple. Build a box to house books protected from the weather and place the box in a location accessible to children and their parents. Anyone is free to take a book from the library box, read it, return it, or keep it. All are encouraged to place another book in the library as a way of ensuring continued service. Currently, over 70,000 little free libraries exist across the globe. Thanks to Brett’s advocacy, the 24th Little Free Library in Spalding County was dedicated this past week at Tyus Park off Cowan Road. Some of these Little Free Libraries are located on school grounds, including one dedicated last year at Futral Road Elementary in honor of retiring assistant principal Karen Miller. For his support in improving literacy and reading skills in Spalding County, Brett Bell is recognized as an Agent of Change.
Due to Spalding High School Senior Jordan Smith’s sensory issues with loud noises and crowds and his need to constantly move or walk, his family decided that it would be best for him not to participate in Spalding High's graduation ceremony. Knowing how hard Jordan has worked during his time at Spalding High and his amazing progress, Jordan’s Special Education Teacher Dana Jett felt that his hard work and perseverance were worthy of recognition and organized a special intimate graduation ceremony for Jordan and his family. For putting her student first and ensuring that his accomplishments mattered and were valued makes her an Agent of Change.
When GSCS began planning for a Griffin Region College and Career Academy, businessman Dave Lamb stepped up. Lamb served as a business representative on the planning committee and became the first board chair for GRCCA. Through his leadership, GRCCA has grown as a regional site that increases in programs and students each year. Dave Lamb’s long-term commitment and vision for GRCCA has made him an Agent of Change.
Dr. Tiffany Taylor became principal of Carver Road Middle in 2014. Under her leadership, Carver Road was recognized as a 2016 and 2017 Model School by the International Center for Leadership in Education for innovative practices. The Georgia Department of Education also recognized her school as one of three in the state for improving student attendance. In 2017 Dr. Taylor earned the title of Georgia Secondary Principal of the Year. Through her leadership and the innovative practices of her school, Dr. Taylor is indeed an Agent of Change.
It was an emotional moment when special education teacher Kimberly Wimbish surprised her student, Jamias Howard, 19, with his graduation cap and gown -- an accomplishment that certainly had its challenges along the way.
“Oh man, thank you,” Jamias Howard told Wimbish in her touching Facebook video that went viral.
“Congratulations,” she replied through the car window.
“Appreciate it, ma’am. I love you so much,” said an overwhelmed Jamias Howard. “Thank you so much for everything you do for me. Appreciate it.”
After his devoted teacher reminded him about his graduation rehearsal at 8 a.m., Jamias Howard can be seen wiping away tears as he once again told her, “I love you so much.”
Ms. Wimbish is an Agent of Change and the model of dedication, caring and instructional leader who works to ensure that ALL students succeed.
Amy Brown creates a classroom environment where students can trust her, have a safe place to try new things and to feel secure in their learning. A visit to Ms. Brown’s classroom will give you a boost in how students are learning and how today’s teachers are teaching. At Jackson Road Elementary, Ms. Brown teaches third grade, serves on the leadership team, is a teacher mentor, facilitates the LEGO League, assists with the running club, manages the Makerspace, co-developed the house system and sponsors the Great Griffin Shake. She was also the 2016-17 district Teacher of the Year and is an Agent of Change.
For over a decade Hal Rahn has committed time and money to the Kids in Need school supplies and to the Education Celebration. Through his tireless efforts, thousands of Spalding County students received the necessary supplies for a solid start to the school year and teachers have received classroom supplies that make the start of school smoothing special. In addition, Hal has worked to improve the process and has engaged the Noncom staff and vendors in this amazing endeavor to support students and teachers. Hal Rahn is indeed an Agent of Change who makes life better for those in need.
Click HERE to view the 2017 Norcom Education celebration video.