COVINGTON, Ga. - The Newton County School System and the Newton County Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the top three finalists for Newton County’s 2018 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: Lewis Kelly, Newton High School; Kimberly Lane, Fairview Elementary School; and Cliff Roberts, Veterans Memorial Middle 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 and Friday 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, Sept. 25, 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 2019 Newton County Teacher of the Year during a special ceremony at Newton High School on Thursday, October 4 at 4:45 p.m.
Mr. Lewis Kelly, Newton High School
Mr. Lewis Kelly is an epidemiology and physical science teacher at Newton High School, where he has worked since August 2014. He previously taught biology in both the DeKalb and Henry County school systems. Mr. Kelly earned his bachelor of science degree from South Carolina State University in 2000. After a six-year career in the National Football League, where he played offensive guard for the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants, Mr. Kelly earned a master’s in education degree from the University of Phoenix and pursued a career in education. He’s been a teacher since 2011.
Mr. Kelly stated he was “honored” and “humbled” to be selected as a finalist for Newton County Teacher of the Year. He added, “To all teachers, remember you shape the world...after all you are a non-invasive brain surgeon.”
Mrs. Kimberly Lane, Fairview Elementary
Mrs. Kimberly Lane is a kindergarten and first grade teacher at Fairview Elementary School. She earned a bachelor of science in education, a master of education in early childhood, and a specialist of education in teacher leadership all from Mercer University. Mrs. Lane also holds a reading endorsement and an ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) endorsement as well. She began her teaching career with the Newton County School System in 2007 at Middle Ridge Elementary School and transferred to Fairview in 2015.
"I am very humbled and honored to represent my school,” Lane said. “I am thankful for the journey I have had so far in my teaching career and all those who have helped and guided me along the way. I look forward to all I can accomplish and learn in the future."
Mr. Cliff Roberts, Veterans Memorial Middle
Mr. Cliff Roberts is a physical science teacher at Veterans Memorial Middle School. Born and raised in Newton County, Mr. Roberts is a proud alumnus of the Newton County School System. He earned a bachelor of science in kinesiology in the field of sports medicine from Georgia Southern in 2003 and a master of arts in teaching from Western Governors in 2010. He returned to his hometown school system to begin his teaching career as a science teacher at Veterans Memorial Middle School in 2006 and he’s been teaching there ever since.
“This is such an honor,” said Roberts. “I’m truly shocked and humbled to be chosen as a finalist among such a well-deserving group of teachers. I love what I do and I am thankful that I get to impact the lives of children each day. Thank you for this opportunity.”
“It always gives me great pleasure to recognize and honor our outstanding teachers of the year,” Samantha Fuhrey, NCSS superintendent, said. “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 2019 Teacher of the Year program: AT&T, Bank of North Georgia, BB&T, Beaver Manufacturing, Bridgestone Golf, C.R. Bard, Covington Ford, Covington News, General Mills, Georgia Connector, Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Georgia Power Company, Great Estates Landscaping, McMichael’s Construction, Newton County Water & Sewer Authority, Newton Citizen, Newton Federal Bank, Nisshinbo Automotive, Piedmont Newton, Pinnacle Bank, Shire, SKC, Inc., Snapping Shoals EMC, Sunbelt Builders, Three Ring Studios, TPA Realty Services, Tread Technologies (Michelin), United Bank of Covington, Wagner Service Solutions, The Center, Newton College & Career Academy, and THP Creative Group.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.