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October 5, 2017

Eastside High School choral director, Joel Singleton, is Newton County School System’s 2018 Teacher of the Year! He will now represent Newton County Schools in the Georgia Teacher of the Year Program. Mr. Singleton’s prizes included $1,000 cash and a crystal vase from the Newton County Chamber of Commerce and three-month’s free car rental from Covington Ford.

Ms. Heather Henderson of Newton College & Career Academy and Ms. Sharonda Tarplin of Cousins Middle School were this year’s runners up. They each received a crystal vase award from the Newton County Chamber of Commerce.

“Oh my goodness I’ve just got to say in one word, honored,” said Singleton. “Two weeks ago a committee or a group of folks came in my classroom and said, ‘hey, you’re a finalist’ and asked how do you feel and I said, ‘honored and humbled’, because I know everybody sitting on this stage, we all (teach) because we have a passion for it, we have a love for it, and for students. Words have been spoken about some things I shared about relationships and that’s true for me. This job is too hard not to enjoy it. This job it too hard and we don’t get paid enough not to enjoy it, who we do it for, who we do it with, who we get to share things with.”

He added, “I’m just thankful to be in Newton County. I’m thankful for Ms. Fuhrey, thankful for the leadership we have. It’s a good place to be, it’s a good community to get connected in and it’s a good community to give back to. So I encourage you, if you don’t feel like you’ve been doing that, visit a school, come visit these classrooms….you’re going to find a passion, you’re going to find a pride…you’re going to see the reason with each of them why they keep doing this.

Mr. Singleton teaches chorus, advanced placement music theory, and teaching as a profession, at Eastside High School. Before joining the faculty at Eastside High School in 2007, Mr. Singleton taught music and chorus in Griffin-Spaulding County and Rockdale County School Systems. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from Georgia College in 2000 and his master’s degree in music education/conducting from Columbus State in 2001. Mr. Singleton completed all requirements for an education specialist degree in music-curriculum and teaching from Auburn University in 2007.

Newton County’s Teacher of the Year program would not be possible if it were not for the support of our community. As a result, the Newton County School System and the Newton County Chamber of Commerce would like to extend special thanks to the Chamber Champions, sponsors of the 2018 Teacher of the Year program: Ginn Motors, Newton Federal Bank, Piedmont Newton Hospital, Snapping Shoals EMC, Alcovy Media, Covington News, General Mills, AT&T, Bank of North Georgia, Baxalta, Georgia Power, Great Estates Landscaping, McMichael’s Construction, Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority, Pinnacle Bank, SKC Inc., TPA Realty Services, United Bank, Wagner Service Solutions, Bard, BB&T, Beaver Manufacturing, Bridgestone Golf, Georgia Connector, Newton College & Career Academy, Newton Citizen, Sunbelt Builders, The Center, and Tread Technologies Company.

For more information on the Newton County School System Teacher of the Year program, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, Director of Public Relations for Newton County Schools at