On Tuesday night, in front of a packed audience of honored educators, local businesses and sponsors in the College of Coastal Georgia Conference Center, Helen Kennedy, a fifth-grade teacher at Burroughs-Molette Elementary, stepped on stage to be named the 2023-2024 Glynn County Teacher of the Year.
Kennedy, who has taught for 13 years, said this profession is her calling, and she is honored to serve.
“I would just like to say thank you for this,” Kennedy said. “This is really an honor. Like they said, my mission is that all children are capable of learning when you provide them with the resources needed, so whether that’s meeting their physiological needs, their social-emotional needs, you have to meet them where they’re at.”
The ceremony, sponsored in large part by Georgia Power and the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce, saw 26 local educators who had been named teachers of the year at their schools, including public and private schools and the college. Throughout the evening, principals stepped up to the podium to talk about their school’s chosen teacher, each of whom was selected by their peers to represent the school.
More than 50 businesses and groups sponsored this year’s Teacher of the Year ceremony, with each teacher receiving numerous gifts to take home. In addition to a basket of goodies and gifts, Kennedy received a 2023 Kia Rio from our title sponsor, Lou Sobh Kia of Brunswick.
For Mavis Jaudon, principal at Burroughs-Molette Elementary, this was a well-deserved honor for an educator who continuously goes above and beyond for her students and school family. She said Kennedy believes in teaching the whole child and puts relationships above all else in her classroom.
"She is a dedicated and enthusiastic educator who strives to create an engaging learning environment for her students. Her passion and leadership have been motivating and encouraging to all the stakeholders in our school," Jaudon said. "Ms. Kennedy is an incredible and dynamic educator who deserves to be honored as Glynn County’s Teacher of the Year.”
Finalists for Glynn County Teacher of the Year were:
- Heather Watkins, Brunswick High;
- Helen Kennedy, Burroughs-Molette Elementary;
- Kalee Gunter, Greer Elementary;
- Susannah Mize, Glynn Middle; and
- Haley Pruitt, Jane Macon Middle.
Five judges – retired educators Leslie Scarboro, Sandra Lukitsch and Dr. Rhonda Jaudon; judge liaison Sung Hui Lewis; and teacher liaison Cathy Pittman – spent time in the finalists’ classrooms before choosing this year’s winner.