Rockdale’s Teacher of the Year ready for state competition
When Kim Manget went to school, girls were required to wear dresses to class, schools were segregated, you could be disciplined with rulers, and carbon paper was used to make copies.
“Now, we are in a much different time. I bet there are a limited few at my school that even know what carbon paper is. Now everything is done with iPad technology, and my 4-year-old grand-daughter does a great job of teaching me how to use it,” said Kim Manget, a math teacher at Hightower Trail Elementary School in Rockdale County. “However, the importance that a particular curriculum or technology has on learning pales in comparison to the importance of having a teacher who promotes confidence in learning and develops supportive student relationships.”
At a Nov. 18 ceremony, Manget was named Rockdale County School’s Teacher of the Year, beating out two other finalists: Samantha Swaney of Heritage High School, and April Roberts, who teaches at Edwards Middle School. Magnet has been teaching in Rockdale for 26 years. This was her first time winning the award.
Now with the title of Rockdale’s best teacher under her belt, Manget goes on to compete for the title of Georgia’s Teacher of the Year. She will complete applications for the title and once again go before judges through interviews and video evaluations to explain her passion for the job. The 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year will be announced at the state banquet in Atlanta in May.
If she goes on to win, Manget will be recognized by the Georgia House and Senate during the General Assembly. She also will be able to take a year off from the Conyers school to work directly with the Georgia Department of Education serving as an educational ambassador for the state system to speak to groups across the state. The winner also will conduct staff development activities for other teachers in his or her area of expertise; serve on statewide committees, as well as attend and participate in numerous state conferences.
“I am overwhelmed and I’m honored by all this. I humbly accept Rockdale’s award on behalf of all the great educators that have so richly influenced my life both as a student and as a teacher,” said Manget, who thanked her three children; her mother; and her husband, John, of more than 33 years for helping her throughout her career. “It is not easy being married to an elementary school teacher. I can remember sending my husband out one night with a flashlight to walk down the street to get pieces of wood from a scrap pile for a geometry project the next day and we’ll never forget the surprise he got when he grabbed an open container of potato salad out of the refrigerator, only to discover it was filled with red wiggly worms for a science project. ”
Rockdale Superintendent Richard Autry says he knows Manget will represent the county well.
“As Rockdale Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Manget represents a select group of people who represent excellence in teaching. Being a teacher allows you to make a difference. As a teacher, Mrs. Manget has the distinct privilege of empowering students to shape their own futures,” said Autry. “During this season of giving thanks, it’s only fitting to say thank you to teachers like Mrs. Manget, as well as all of the county’s teachers who work tirelessly to shape the minds and characters of our young people.”
Rockdale’s Teacher of the Year, Kim Manget, first joined 22 teachers in September when one teacher at each Rockdale school was selected as Teacher of the Year for his or her school by their school’s staff. After that phase, teachers went on to complete a comprehensive application process in which they answered questions related to their teaching philosophy and their reasons for deciding to become educators. The applications were reviewed and scored by a panel of three judges who then selected the three finalists from the group of 22. The finalists were named in early October.
At the Nov. 18 ceremony, Manget received her official award certificate as Rockdale’s Teacher of the Year. Manget also received a gift package from the Board of Education with body care products and other goodies such as a stress ball and picture frame, a $500 Kroger gift card, a Quiktrip gas card and a dessert gift bag. Manget was also presented with a paid three-day and two-night stay at the King and Prince Resort on St. Simon’s Island.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Rockdale County CEO Richard Oden, presented Magnet with a Teacher of the Year proclamation, making Nov. 18, 2103, “Kim Magnet Day.”
These 22 Rockdale teachers were named as their school's Teacher of the Year:
Steven Havick, Salem High School; Meghan Bozaich, C.J. Hicks Elementary; Berit Pitchford, Open Campus; Barbara Mitchell, Davis Middle School; Tiffany McLymore, Rockdale Magnet School; Pam Akin, Honey Creek Elementary; Kenneth Tucker, Rockdale County High. Shown standing are: Steve Johnson, Alpha Academy; April Roberts, Edwards Middle School; Cherelle Jones, Pine Street Elementary; Samantha Swaney, Heritage High School; Laura Bashaw, Shoal Creek Elementary; Christy Dye, Barksdale Elementary; Chris Mays, Rockdale Career Academy; Kim Manget, Hightower Trail Elementary; Carol Hardy, Lorraine Elementary; Pauline Joseph, Peek’s Chapel Elementary; Natalia Dinsmoor, Flat Shoals Elementary; Tommie Morgan, J.H. House Elementary; Nicka Grimes, Conyers Middle School; Kim Mathis, Memorial Middle School; and Hillary Simpson, Sims Elementary School.