NCSS 2020 Top Three TOTY Finalists

NCSS Announces Top Three Finalists for Newton County Teacher of the Year
Posted on 09/19/2019
Three Female Finalists for Teacher of the YearThe Newton County School System and the Newton County Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the top three finalists for Newton County’s 2020 Teacher of the Year award.

After reading essays submitted by each of the school system’s 23 Teachers of the Year, a panel of judges spent two days interviewing each of the teachers. The three candidates earning the highest point totals and thus entering the final round of the judging are, in alphabetical order: Dr. Shannon Price, Flint Hill Elementary School; Mrs. Betsy Proffitt, Eastside High School; and Mrs. Eboni Simmons, Alcovy High School.

Newton County School System Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey and other central office administrators surprised each of the finalists with flowers and balloons in their classrooms on Thursday to make the special announcement that they were finalists for Newton County Teacher of the Year. Family members of the teachers were also included in the surprise visits.

On Tuesday, September 24, the Teacher of the Year selection committee will observe each of the three finalists in their classroom and the teacher with the highest combined score on the essay, interview, and observation will be announced as the 2020 Newton County Teacher of the Year during a special ceremony at Newton High School on Thursday, October 3 at 4:45 p.m.

In Alphabetical Order:

Dr. Shannon Price is a fourth-grade teacher at Flint Hill Elementary School. She began her teaching career in the Newton County School System when she was hired as a teacher at Palmer-Stone Elementary School in 1995. She transferred to Flint Hill Elementary School in 2011 and has been teaching there ever since. Dr. Price has taught kindergarten, second, third, and fourth grades for the district. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Georgia College in 1994 and her Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Piedmont in 1999. In 2011, she earned her Education Specialist degree in Teaching and Learning from Liberty University and ultimately obtained her Educational Doctorate from Liberty in 2015. In addition, Dr. Price completed all requirements for a Leadership Add-On to her Educational Specialist in 2017.

“I am blessed and very excited to represent my school and county,” said Dr. Price upon being told she was a finalist. “I just look forward to what the future holds. I am kind of speechless right now. This—just to be able to know that I make a difference in kids’ lives—that’s what it means to me. The everyday blessings that I get from them and what I hope I impart to them, it just makes all the difference.”

Mrs. Betsy Proffitt is a physical science and chemistry teacher at Eastside High School. She began her teaching career in Newton County School System in 1992 when she was hired as a science, math, and language arts instructor at Porterdale Elementary School. In 1997, Mrs. Proffitt transferred to Indian Creek Middle School, where she served as a science and math teacher through 2016 before. She has been teaching science at Eastside High School since 2016. Mrs. Proffitt earned both her Bachelors in Education and Masters in Education from the University of Georgia. She holds an additional certificate to teach gifted.

“I am shocked and completely appreciative of the honor for sure and completely unworthy,” said Proffitt as she choked back tears. “I’ve known so many great teachers and just can’t imagine that I’m compared to some of those. I’m just really grateful and thankful for this opportunity.”

Mrs. Eboni Simmons has served as a biology teacher at Alcovy High School since she joined the Newton County School System in 2009. She previously served as a science teacher for both middle and high school at New Birth Christian Academy from 2006 to 2009. Mrs. Simmons earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Georgia Southern University in 2005 and her Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Science from Georgia State University in 2012. She also holds an additional certification to teach Gifted-Secondary Science.

“I am blown away,” said Simmons upon being informed she was a finalist for Teacher of the Year. “I cannot believe that this just happened. I’m just humbled, I’m thankful, I’m grateful and I’m excited about what’s to come. I’m thankful to my coworkers who thought that I was able to receive this honor. I just appreciate everybody and I’m just so grateful, surprised, and amazed.”

“It always gives me great pleasure to recognize and honor our outstanding teachers of the year,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of Newton County School System! “To have been selected as one of the top three candidates is certainly an exceptional honor. Congratulations to each of these extraordinary educators! Individually and collectively, they represent all that is special with regard to teaching and learning. I am proud of their dedication, expertise, and creativity, as each of them impact their students far greater than they know.”

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 2020 Teacher of the Year program: Abbey Hospice; Alcovy Media; Athens Orthopedic Clinic; AT&T; BB&T; Beaver Manufacturing; Bridgestone Golf; BD; Covington Ford; Covington News; Fidelity Bank; General Mills; Georgia Connector; GPTC; Ginn Motor Company; Hargray Fiber; High Priority Plumbing; MAU; Newton County Water Authority; Newton Citizen; Newton Federal Bank; Nisshinbo Automotive; Oxford College at Emory University; Piedmont Newton; Pinnacle Bank; Takeda; SKC, Inc.; Snapping Shoals EMC; SteelCo; Sunbelt Builders, Inc.; Synovus; Three Ring; TPA Realty Services; Tread Technologies (Michelin); United Bank of Covington; Wagner Service Solutions; The Center; and Newton College and Career Academy.

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