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GCSS announces 2020 Teachers of the Year

Collage of Teachers of the Year

The Greene County School System has named four 2020 Teachers of the Year.

Evelyn Warren is Teacher of the Year at Greene County Primary School at Greensboro (CBJ Preschool). LaTaya Washington is Teacher of the Year at Greene County Primary School at Union Point, and Gena Grier is Teacher of the Year at Anita White Carson Middle School. Joseph Nesbit is Teacher of the Year at Greene County High School.

Evelyn Warren is in her 19thyear teaching at the Greene County School System. She taught Pre-K special education at Greene County Preschool for 11 years as a paraprofessional before going on to teach kindergarten at both Union Point Steam Academy and Greensboro Elementary School. In 2014, Warren returned to Greene County CBJ Preschool where she has been teaching ever since.

Warren is a Greene County native who graduated from Greene County High School in 1979. She earned her bachelor of science degree in early childhood education from Albany State University and her master’s in education from Troy University. Warren says she was inspired to teach by two of her own elementary school teachers, Mrs. Burnestine Beasley and Ms. Ethel Gilliam.

“As I was growing up, teachers played an important role in our community and church,” she said. “They were the leaders, Sunday school teachers and sometimes a guardian angel to many of us. These teachers encouraged and tried to instill in us self-respect and a love for learning.” 

LaTaya Washington is in her eighth year teaching at the Greene County School System. She taught kindergarten, first grade and second grade at Union Point Steam Academy and is teaching second grade this year at Greene County Primary School.

A native of Greene County, she graduated from Greene County High School in 2008 and earned her bachelor’s of science in early childhood education from Valdosta State University. She has also received a master’s of art in elementary education and an education specialist degree in curriculum and instruction, both from Piedmont College. Washington was Union Point Steam Academy’s Teacher of the Year in 2015.

Washington was inspired to become a teacher by one of her own high school teachers, Mrs. Megan Adams.

“She was that teacher who loved teaching, which made me love learning,” Washington said. “She was different because she cared.”

Washington says that Adams went above and beyond, caring for each of her students as if they were her own children.

“She taught me the importance of building relationships,” Washington said. “I do believe that the relationships I’ve formed over the years with my students and parents are forever.” 

Gena Grier is in her 17thyear teaching at Anita White Carson Middle School, where she has taught math, reading, English language arts, Georgia studies and gifted education. Grier is also a product of the Greene County School System. She was born and raised in Woodville and graduated from Greene-Taliaferro Comprehensive High School with honors in 1998.

Grier attended Albany State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and Walden University, where she earned her master’s degree in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. She has been surrounded by educators her whole life, as her mother was a teacher, her aunts were educators, and her grandmother was a childcare provider for whom she would work each summer as a teen.

“I wanted to become an educator so that I could influence, develop, and shape future generations of students,” Grier said. “Being a teacher has been one of the most rewarding blessings I’ve been able to experience.”

Joseph Nesbit is in his fourth year teaching at Greene County High School, where he has taught agriscience, animal science, plant science and general horticulture, and agriculture mechanics. Born and raised in Greensboro, Nesbit is a 2009 graduate of Greene County High School, where his love of agriculture was influenced by his own FFA advisor and forestry teacher, the late Dr. Marty Collins.

Nesbit received his bachelor of science degree in agriculture education from Fort Valley State University, where he received department honors for his research presentations. He worked at Novelis Aluminum in Greensboro as a melter operator for two years before coming to GCHS as the agriculture education teacher and FFA advisor.

“I really feel as if my purpose is to educate the young people in my community to the best of my ability, serve as a mentor, and to set an example that good things do come from Greene County,” he said.

Nesbit is currently completing his master of science degree in agriculture education at North Carolina Agriculture & Technical State University, with an expected graduation date of May 2020.

Emily McClure
emily.mcclure@greene.k12.ga.us
706-453-7688