Monday, April 25, 2011

Gumerson Named Fayette’s Top Teacher

Aimee Gumerson (right) with Shelly Dowse seconds after hearing her name announced as the 2011 Fayette County Teacher of the Year.

Would it be a math or one of two science teachers as the next Fayette County Teacher of the Year? That long awaited question was answered Thursday night.

All eyes were fixed on Superintendent Jeff Bearden as he opened the sealed envelope and announced that Aimee Gumerson, a math teacher at Fayette Middle, had been selected as the 2011 Fayette County Teacher of the Year (TOTY).

Keelan Seabolt and Shelly Dowse, a physics teacher at Sandy Creek high and a chemistry teacher at McIntosh High, respectively, were the other contenders.

Gumerson thanked a long list of teachers who she said helped pave the way for her success, including her mother, grandparents, and many Fayette County educators.

“At an occasion like this, it's nearly impossible to thank everyone who played a part in my being right here right now. In looking back over my life and my career, school and teachers and education and learning have been at the center of my world for as long as I can remember,” she said.

Gumerson talked about how her life has come full circle, as she now teaches at the very school she attended as a student. She also shared her memories of some favorite teachers.

“I remember Ms. Hope Callahan who taught poetry with such creativity that I still have the poetry booklet I created in seventh grade. I recall Gladys Brown who knew that I didn't care for science, but by having me draw pictures and tell her about them, actually made the inside of a frog interesting to me. I remember struggling to hit a softball or to play basketball without travelling (I think that's what you call it when you walk with the ball without dribbling it) and the patience that Lance Bowen and Phyllis Hutsell had that made me still enjoy coming to PE just the same,” she recalled.

Gumerson said reflecting back on how certain educators impacted her life made her realize the power teachers have in the classroom.

“In every little thing we do or don't do, we help others or we don't. Do not underestimate the power that you have, that we all have, every single moment with every single student to make a difference, and do not underestimate the difference that each of you have made in my life. I cannot thank you enough,” she told the audience.

As Fayette’s 2011 TOTY, Gumerson will represent the county in the Georgia TOTY competition next spring.

Fayette’s annual TOTY program honors the county’s 29 teachers of the year from each elementary, middle and high school. The program would not be possible without the generous contributions of local businesses and organizations.

The venue for this year’s ceremony was provided by New Hope Baptist Church, North Campus.
Nominees from each school received plaques from the Coca Cola Bottling Company and a portrait courtesy of Life Touch Photography. Also, Dell Computer, Inc. donated computers to all three finalists and Allan Vigil Ford in Fayetteville gave $500 to both runners up and $1,000 to the winner. Additionally, the winner received a commemorative ring from Balfour and roundtrip airfare for two from AirTran Airlines.

Other top sponsors included Chick-fil-A, the Rotary Club of Peachtree City, Delta Community Credit Union, Southern Federal Credit Union, The Avenue Peachtree City, and numerous other local businesses and organizations.


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