COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County School System Teacher of the Year Laura Lambert has moved one step closer to the ultimate prize after being named a finalist for Georgia Teacher of the Year.
Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods surprised Lambert and her students in their classroom today, March 7, at the Newton College & Career Academy (NCCA) to share the good news.
“I cannot believe it,” said Lambert after the surprise announcement. “It’s one thing to be selected in the district. It seems like a whole other thing to be selected out of hundreds of teachers that were in this year’s Teacher of the Year cohort.
"I’m just overwhelmed, I’m very excited and I’m very honored, but I can’t do any of what I do without the students.”
Lambert began her career in education as a chemistry and biology teacher at Monroe Area High School before joining the Newton County School System and NCCA team in 2019.
She earned her undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Georgia State University and her master’s degree in Education from Piedmont University in 2017. Also certified in both Gifted and STEM, Lambert teaches AP Biology and Biotechnology at NCCA.
Woods explained the qualities the Georgia Department of Education is looking for in the state’s next Teacher of the Year.
“We are looking for teachers who have a passion and love for kids,” he said. “That comes without saying. But we’re also looking for someone with high integrity who is very skilled in the subject that they teach as well.
"We’re looking for someone that is willing to be out there representing us as a state…they will be traveling and engaged with a lot of different groups and a lot of different people and eventually they will be stepping on the national stage as well….so definitely someone that stands out and obviously Ms. Lambert has at her time here at the Career Academy.”
Newton College & Career Academy Principal Chad Walker described Lambert, who was his school’s Teacher of the Year before her selection for Newton County School System's overall honor
“She is a passionate teacher that cares about her associates,” he said. “She is driven, she is hands-on, she is experimental, and she is project-based. She is exactly what you want a teacher to be. She is confident, she is studious, she is amazing.”
He added, “When you watch her teach it’s just effortless…. It’s just amazing. I can’t wait for the rest of the state to see what she can do because we’ve known for a while.
"What’s amazing is she’s doing this within the first six years of her career. I can’t imagine what she’s going to be like in the future, but I do know she’s going to represent Newton County and hopefully the state very well.”