Calhoun City Schools announces Teachers of the Year 2018-19

Top row, left to right: CPS Teacher of the Year Tracie Nesbitt and CES Teacher of the Year Jill Michels.

Bottom row, left to right: CMS Teacher of the Year Matthew Brookins and CHS Teacher of the Year Matt Rice.

Calhoun Primary School is extremely proud to announce Tracie Nesbitt as their Teacher of the Year for 2018-19. Nesbitt is a Kindergarten teacher, and has served in that role since joining the staff of Calhoun Primary in 2006. She has played a pivotal role on the Kindergarten team and has been instrumental in several grade level initiatives such as unit planning, implementation of new writing and phonics programs, and working to bring a collaborative planning process with all Kindergarten teachers. Nesbitt has also served the school in several key, at-large roles such as a mentor teacher, grade level chairperson, and on the school leadership team. She is widely known for her soft-spoken and loving atmosphere she provides for all of the children commended to her care. She builds a deep sense of trust with all students and families while providing wonderful instruction each day and constant communication between school and home. As one colleague said, “Tracie Nesbitt is the ideal Kindergarten teacher. She is loving, patient, supportive, and works to bring out the best in each child. She is always willing to help others and does everything with a smile.”

Calhoun Elementary School is delighted to announce Jill Michels as the Teacher of the Year for 2018-19. Michels joined the CES faculty in 2011, and she has been a staple in 4th Grade since that time. She is an outstanding leader in her grade level and she has helped shepherd several key initiatives in recent years, including the implementation of a new reading and writing program. Michels has also participated in the PAGE Assistant Principal/Teacher Leader Academy, which focused on creating more engaging work for students in the classroom. She has also led a staff training in the summer months related to effective strategies on the cutting edge of reading instruction, and staff members who attended the sessions cited it as some highly effective professional development. Michels has also served in several key areas including mentor teacher, grade level chair, leadership team, and as an instructional lead in literacy. As one nominating colleague shared, “Jill Michels is a great representative of what an outstanding teacher should be. She loves her students, instills in them a love of learning, and is always willing to help others.”

Calhoun Middle School is excited to announce Matthew Brookins as Teacher of the Year for 2018-2019. Brookins is a 7th grade math teacher who engages students with his enthusiasm for the subject. He is the CMS tennis coach, and works closely with the Professional Association of Georgia Educators through the Principal and Teacher Leader Network. He also serves as a mentor teacher in the Calhoun City Schools Induction Teacher Program. Brookins is a school leader who is highly respected by students, parents, and staff members. His colleagues shared compliments such as, “He makes learning fun and finds talents in students that they do not know are there. Students want to go to his class each day and are excited about learning.” Brookins is a wonderful representative of Calhoun Middle School and the faculty and administration are extremely proud that he is being honored for hard work and dedication to his students and CMS.

Calhoun High School is honored to announce Matt Rice as Teacher of the Year for 2018-2019. Rice teaches World History, AP European History and AP Human Geography at CHS. He serves as chair of the social studies department, is the head coach for the CHS boys soccer program, and is an assistant CHS football coach. Rice has been selected by College Board as an Advanced Placement Summer Reader for the past two years. He serves as a school leader working closely with the Professional Association of Georgia Educators through their Assistant Principal and Teacher Leader Academy. Rice also serves as a mentor teacher in the Calhoun City Schools Induction Teacher Program. He has been described as a leader in the school who is highly respected by everyone; an advocate for professional learning who always puts the needs of his students first. His peer teachers have shared compliments such as, “Mr. Rice is to be commended for his work ethic. He manages to effectively teach two AP classes and a CP class, while also coaching two sports. As a collaborator and department lead, he is always willing to listen and share ideas. He is an advocate of history and social studies, which in the modern climate of emphasis on STEM, is important. His enthusiasm for the subject is encouraging to observe. He is viewed as a leader in the classroom and on the playing field.” Rice is a wonderful representative of Calhoun High School and the school is very proud that he is being honored for his hard work, compassion, and dedication to the field of education and the students of CHS.