Get the latest weather forecast!

January 9--  A veteran elementary school teacher is the Teacher of the Year in the Treutlen County school system.

sheilaSheila Raiford has been teaching elementary school for 29 years, "I have taught third grade, fourth grade, pre-K and kindergarten and I did a year in second grade and have been teaching first grade about 14 years now.  I enjoy the younger kids and watching them learn when they first learn to read and it all starts falling together which is usually in January or mid-February."

Mrs. Raiford says she chose to be a teacher because of the influence her teachers had on her when she was growing up in the Treutlen school system, "There are some who really stand out and I think that's why I teach.  They helped me through the years.  I was not the greatest student, I was a good student, but I had some like my fourth grade teacher who was probably the best reading teacher that stands out to me.

"I had high school teachers who really stick out like when you have trouble in math or in English, they really push you along.  That's the type of teacher I hope my kids have thought about me through the years, the one who helped them along instead of letting them get lost in the shuffle," she said.

And she's seen a lot of changes in teaching in her nearly 30 years,"When I first started, we taught by what was in the textbooks which were handed us.  Now the state leads with a curriculum and we have to follow that curriculum. Instead of just doing what's in the textbooks everyday, we have to make sure what we teach is lined up with what the state wants us to teach."

Other Treutlen teachers of the year in individual schools are Tina Joiner in elementary grades three through five, Leigh Wilcher in Treutlen Middle School and Miriam Grimes at Treutlen High School. 

For staff use only.