Six compete for McDuffie County Teacher of the Year honors | New

The McDuffie County School Board announced the nominees for the Teacher of the Year award. The nominees for McDuffie County Teacher of the Year are Clinton Doak, Norris Elementary School, Tamara Hammond, Thomson Elementary School, Emily Miller, Maxwell Elementary School, Laura Osborne, Thomson-McDuffie Middle School, Christian Rosier, Thomson High School and Johnna Simpson, Dearing Elementary School.

Doak has been teaching for 14 years and teaching math to fourth and fifth graders. He is married to his wife Angela and they have a son, Michael. When not teaching, Doak enjoys outdoor fishing and game hunting. Some of his favorite things about being a teacher are seeing his students master a skill and increase their self-confidence, and also seeing his students achieve their goals. Doak was also a veteran of the United States Army.

Hammond has been teaching for 28 years and has spent her entire career in McDuffie County. Hammond teaches all subjects to third graders. She is married to Britt Hammond and they have three children, Sarah Gayle Hammond Roberson, Elizabeth Hammond and John Thomas Hammond. Her three children are graduates of or attend the University of Georgia. Hammond enjoys volunteering at the local food bank, Manna, when she’s not teaching. She enjoys traveling with her family, especially in national parks. Hammond is a member of the First Baptist Church, where she plays the piano for services every Sunday. Hammond’s favorite thing about teaching is sharing books with students and seeing their reaction.

“I find that my enthusiasm for how an author describes a particular person or place translates to my students,” Hammond said.

Hammond mentored two new teachers at Thomson Elementary, and she is grateful that McDuffie County continues to hire and retain high quality young teachers.

Miller has been teaching for approximately 16 years. She teaches in kindergarten, which includes all subjects. She is originally from Thomson and married to Wayne Miller. They have two daughters, Evelyn, 6, and Reese, 3 months. Miller has an older sister, Jenny, and a younger brother, Al. When Miller is not teaching, she enjoys spending time on her family farm with their lab, Molly, and their Boykin Spaniels, Hazel and Choco. She also enjoys shopping, playing the piano and traveling. Miller is a member of the First Baptist Church. What she likes best as a teacher is teaching her kindergarten class.

“Their thirst for learning is evident in their mastery of basic skills that will enable them to be successful in later classes,” Miller said.

Miller also enjoys the “ah ha” moments where he finally clicks, which makes him rewarding. Miller graduated from Thomson High School in 2001, and in 2006, she received a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with Magna Cum Laude from Augusta State University. Miller also received his Masters of Education from Augusta State University in Curriculum and Teaching. Miller was also inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Osborne has been teaching for 26 years, 22 of which have been in McDuffie County. She teaches Georgian history in grade eight. She has been married for 26 years to John Osborne. They have two children, Charles, 22, a THS graduate, Mercer graduate and current eighth grade math teacher, and Elizabeth, 17, a senior at THS. Osborne enjoys driving the school bus to sporting events when she is not teaching. At home, she enjoys painting and designing different items, such as tennis shoes. She is also a member of the First Baptist Church. One thing she loves about her job as a teacher is the relationships she forms with her students.

Osborne is another teacher who enjoys the “ah ha” moment, when something finally clicks for her students. Osborne believes that you need to start each school year with a loving heart and fresh eyes so that students realize their full potential.

Rosier has been teaching for five years and began teaching special education from grades 9 to 12 in 2017. Rosier now teaches all subject areas and all professional and life skills. Rosier has been married to her husband, Jonathan, since 2017. They have a one month old son, Waylon. Jonathan Rosier is a firefighter and paramedic in McDuffie and Columbia County. Rosier is a member of the Marshall Baptist Church and conducts music and worship. Rosier loves the outdoors and everything related to agriculture. Attend sporting events and play and coach softball. She volunteers at the local rodeo and loves music. Rosier has two favorite things about teaching. She enjoys inspiring students to look beyond their disability.

His second favorite thing is his colleagues.

“We work together every day to coordinate the chaos of our lives as special education teachers and each of us will agree that every moment is worth it,” said Rosier. Rosier graduated from THS in 2013 and played college softball. Rosier graduated from Augusta University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in special education, and obtained a master’s degree in education in 2020 in teaching as well as a STEM certification. Rosier helps students work on their transition to life after high school.

Simpson has been teaching for 23 years and teaching math to fourth graders. Simpson has been married to Tim Simpson for 34 years. Simpson has two children, John, 25, who recently married Ivey Gheesling and Catherine, 28, who has been married for four years to Jesse Brooks. Simpson has two English Springer Spaniels, Council and Lillie. When not teaching, Simpson enjoys reading detective novels and watching television. Her favorite hobby is second-hand shopping. Simpson also loves decorating. Simpson’s favorite thing as a teacher is having the responsibility to love her students unconditionally and to be a role model.

The McDuffie County Teacher of the Year will be announced on Thursday, October 21, at the regular Board of Education meeting in the auditorium at Thomson High School.

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