COVINGTON, Ga. - Newton County School System began American Education Week with a celebration of two former educators, Monday evening. The district officially inducted Mr. and Mrs. Jerry and Lee Aldridge into the NCSS Educator Hall of Fame.
Mrs. Lee Aldridge served as a biology, chemistry, anatomy, and advanced placement biology teacher at Newton County High School for 33 years. During her career, Mrs. Aldridge was named a Star Teacher; she was selected as a Top Ten Teacher 15 different years; she won the Newton County Young Educator of the Year Award, the High School Teacher of the Year Award, the Newton County Science Teacher of the Year Award, and was also elected the Newton County School System Teacher of the Year.
Well-known throughout the Covington/Newton County community for her volunteerism, Mrs. Aldridge was elected the Volunteer of the Year for Newton General/Piedmont Hospital, where she has accumulated over 10,000 hours of community service. She has received eight United States President’s Volunteer Service Awards for her work for the local hospital. In addition, she has been named Woman of the Year for both Newton County and Georgia Clean and Beautiful.
“This is awesome and I loved seeing all of my past students here,” Mrs. Aldridge said. “This is definitely a great honor.”
While many in the audience were former students of Lee Aldridge, the Boy Scouts of Pack 222 came out in full force in support of their cub master, Mr. Lee Aldridge. Mr. Aldridge is a retired teacher and school administrator for NCSS, having served as a classroom teacher at Newton County High School before pursuing a career as a school principal, first at Mansfield Elementary and later Porterdale Elementary School. After a five-year stint as NCSS director of maintenance, Mr. Aldridge returned to school leadership as the assistant principal at Newton County Comprehensive High School, from 1980 to 1991.
Mr. Aldridge has volunteered in the 4-H program in Newton County for 25 years and has served as the president of both the Covington Lions Club and the Kiwanis Club of Covington. A volunteer at Piedmont Newton Hospital and two-time winner of the President of the United States Volunteer Service Award, Mr. Aldridge is perhaps best known in the community for his commitment to the Boys Scouts of America program; he has invested 54 years in scouting. Mr. Aldridge previously served as a scoutmaster for Mansfield and Porterdale, and since 1989 has served as cub master of local Boy Scout Troop 222.
“This is beyond words,” Mr. Aldridge said. “I’m just glad that the Lord has let me work with young folks all my life. And it’s been a blessing to work with them.”
“On this, the first day of American Education week, it is truly an honor to be on the same stage with two of Newton County School System’s most well-respected educators of all time,” Samantha Fuhrey, NCSS superintendent, said. “My goal in establishing an Educator Hall of Fame was to recognize teachers and leaders in our local public school system who went above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of their students. That definitely describes both Jerry and Lee Aldridge.”