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(L to R, seated) Rhett Carter, J.T. Trippe Middle School and Systemwide Teacher of the Year; Margaret Pournelle, Vidalia High School; Ruby Bryant, Sally D. Meadows Elementary School; Sonya Allmond, J.D. Dickerson Primary School; (back) Principals Eric McDonald (JRT), Bruce Mulkey, VHS; Brandon Boston, SDM; and Charlene Norfleet, JDD

Four educators within the Vidalia City School System were recognized at the November meeting of the Board of Education as Teachers of the Year at their respective schools.

The selection of the nominee is made even sweeter because the recipient of each school is chosen based on the voting of their peer teachers for the honor.

Teachers of the Year include Margaret Pournelle of Vidalia High School; Ruby Bryant of Sally D. meadows Elementary School; Sonya Allmond of J.D. Dickerson Primary School, and Rhett Carter of JR. Trippe Middle School who is also the Systemwide Teacher of the Year.

Carter said, “I am humbled.  I’ve taught in this system for most of my teaching career, and it’s an honor to be recognized by my peers.”

The Vidalia City Schools Systemwide Teacher of the Year says teaching students is more than just instructing students by a cookie-cutter routine.

“You have to keep students engaged,” he said. “There’s so much going on post-Covid where students lost so much time. There are lot of distractions with sports, video games and social media and you have to be able to keep kids’ attention. I’ve always been able to tell a funny story or crack a joke where needed because if you lose that engagement with a student, you’ve lost them. I see young teachers coming in that try to stick to the script, but you have to learn how to keep students engaged in what you are trying to teach.”

As the systemwide Teacher of the Year, Carter will go on to represent the system at the state level for Georgia Teacher of the Year.

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