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Legacy of Excellence Awards
Friday, November 1, 2019
Georgia World Congress Center
Georgia Ballroom, Building C
The Legacy of Excellence is a spectacular celebration to honor every school's top teachers and education professionals. The gala-themed luncheon is when we pay tribute to our Teachers of the Year, Principals of the Year, and School/Support Professionals of the Year as well as the business and community partnerships that have made outstanding contributions to student achievement. This year's event will be held Friday, November 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center.
The Legacy of Excellence program also features performances by student musicians and is our highest regarded recognitions event of the school year. More than 1,200 school, business and community leaders gather for the luncheon. It is truly a remarkable occasion that brings our community together in support of our students and their education.
2019 Teacher of the Year
Pamela Whitlock, Chattahoochee HS - 2019 Teacher of the Year
Pam Whitlock knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher. "I can remember begging my older brother to play school with me," she said, "and if that wasn't successful, I would line up my dolls and teach them. However, I have a rather unique path that has led me to teach computer science at Chattahoochee High School."
After college graduation with a degree in Elementary Education and Reading, Ms. Whitlock believed she was going to change the world by teaching all students to read. She began as a first grade and preschool special needs teacher in North Carolina and later moved to Atlanta, where she took a job as a director of a daycare and preschool. After her second child was born, she was a stay-at-home mom for over a decade, which she also refers to as her "temporary hiatus" from teaching.
During that time, she and her husband started a business, an online allowance management system for kids and families. Through that business venture, she developed a love for technology and programming but began to miss teaching. At 40 years old, she retooled her career to combine her love of teaching with her new interest in programming and went back to school. She renewed her teaching certificate, earned an additional Business Education certification and received a graduate degree from the Computer Science Endorsement program at Southern Polytechnic State University. Just as she finished, Chattahoochee High School added computer science classes to their Career Technology and Agricultural Education (CTAE) program - a perfect match for her skillset and interests. As a mother of four children, all who attended Chattahoochee, joining "the Hooch family" was a natural fit.
Since she began teaching, the number of computer science courses at Chattahoochee has doubled. Equally important as the study of computer science is her relationships with students. "My greatest teaching joy has come from former students who, although they may have struggled in my class, went on to college and are pursuing computer science careers. They did not let a test score define a career path for themselves."
As the 2019 Teacher of the Year, Ms. Whitlock has this reflection, "My inspiration for teaching - what fulfills me and gets me out of bed in the morning - is the potential for impacting students beyond the four walls of my classroom. The relationships that we build can last a lifetime and watching a student grow from being nervous and unsure to confident and intellectually curious is simply amazing. As teachers, we can never doubt the impact that we have on all students, even the ones who may not show us their best selves. Find what gives you passion and joy in teaching. Hang on to your passion and joy of being a learner. Combine those two to create an oasis for your students. This will be one in which every child can develop a love of learning, a skillset that will provide opportunities for success throughout their lives and the confidence to trust in their own abilities without regard to existing barriers."
2019 Principals of the Year
North Springs Charter HS
Principal of the Year
Central Learning Community
Principal of the Year
Northeast Learning Community
Principal of the Year
Northwest Learning Community
A. Philip Randolph ES
Principal of the Year
South Learning Community
and Achievement Zone
2019 Professionals of the Year
Liberty Point ES
School Professional of the Year
Support Professional of the Year
Honorees please arrive at the GWCC at 10:00 a.m. Upon arrival, please check in at the Honoree Registration Table for your glass award, name badge, parade number and table number. All other guests will check in at the General Registration, Blue Ribbon Partners or FCS Board designated tables. Table assignments will be provided. If you are a Blue Ribbon Partner, please pick up your award at check in.
Please follow this link https://gwcc.pmreserve.com/ to obtain discounted pre-paid parking ($10 + $1.30 fee = $11.30). Otherwise, the day of payment will be $25. Instructions:
- Look for “November 1 – Legacy of Excellence Awards” - click on the event name
- Choose Gold or Red Deck (the Gold Deck fills up first) – follow directions
- Please use your GPS to locate the “Georgia World Congress Center Gold or Red Deck”
- Business attire
- Eric Zhang and Eric Dukes, Pianists and Jessica Scislowicz, Harpist, Roswell High School
PARADE OF HONOREES:
The Parade of Honorees officially kicks off the event. Please head to the Honoree Holding Room until the start of the event. Event volunteers will be on hand to assist with lining up honorees alphabetically by school. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. promptly!
Please Note: You will NOT be allowed in the ballroom to leave personal items prior to the luncheon starting (the GWCC staff is busy setting up the room). Please consider leaving your awards, handbags, etc. with family and friends.
RUN of SHOW:
10:00 a.m. Honorees arrive, check-in, receive gift, name badge, etc.
10:15 a.m. Honorees proceed to holding rooms
11:30 a.m. Parade of Honorees (walk across stage & name announced)
12:00 p.m. Lunch & Program
1:30 p.m. Program ends