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GCSS names four 2021-2022 Teachers of the Year

August 31, 2021

Greensboro, Ga. — The Greene County School System has named four 2022 Teachers of the Year.

Jennifer Rosenblum is Teacher of the Year at CBJ Preschool. Dana Jackson is Teacher of the Year at Greene County Primary School at Union Point, and Morgen Gay is Teacher of the Year at Anita White Carson Middle School. Megan Calicott is Teacher of the Year at Greene County High School.

Jennifer Rosenblum is in her third year teaching at the Greene County School System, and 24thyear teaching primary school. She taught special education in kindergarten and 1st grade at Atlanta Jewish Academy for 13 years before coming   to Greene County to teach 2nd Grade at Greensboro Elementary School in 2018. In 2019, she moved to Greene County CBJ Preschool, where she has been teaching ever since.

Rosenblum received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from The University of Georgia and her master’s in Education from The University of West Georgia. She lives in Putnam County with her husband Hank and their Yorkshire terrier, Dexter.

“I have a true passion for working with our youngest learners,” Rosenblum said. “Helping each child progress in all areas of their development, including academic, social, language, and motor, is a challenge that I am honored to take on daily. I strive to create a community of learners that nurtures this growth in a safe, challenging, and fun environment.”

Dana Jackson is in her 18th year teaching at the Greene County School System. She served as a paraprofessional for special education at Union Point Steam Academy for 13 years before transitioning to teaching English Language Arts and Social Studies in 2014. Since then, she has taught literacy and writing using strategies and programs such as Empowering Writers and Fundations.

A proud native of Greensboro, she graduated from Greene County High School and earned her bachelor’s of science in Early Childhood Education from Paine College in Augusta. She is a lifelong member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and frequently participates in community projects with organizations such as Boys and Girls Club, Relay for Life, Atlas, and the Greene County Mentoring Program.

Jackson was inspired to become an educator by her own first grade teacher, Mrs. Lucille Hudson.

“I remember sitting in her first grade classroom, daydreaming about what I wanted to be when I grew up,” Jackson said. “Every day, I would observe Mrs. Hudson’s demeanor and the way she carried herself. Her voice was soft but stern, yet she was so supportive and so nurturing in the way she ran her classroom. It was then that I began to shape what I believed was my true purpose in life.”

Jackson says her mantra is to love and educate yourself, so that you can love and educate others.

“I don’t just want to teach our children; I also want to influence and inspire them in both a positive and impactful way,” she says. “Teaching has always been my aspiration, and I strive every single day to be the epitome of an effective educator, just as I saw in Mrs. Hudson’s first grade classroom.” 

Morgen Gay is in her fourth year teaching at Anita White Carson Middle School, where she teaches life science and reading to 7th and 8th grades. She also coordinates the school’s PBIS program, which encourages positive student behavior by instilling the school’s values of respect, ownership of actions, acting safely, and responsibility. 

Gay attended the University of Georgia, where she earned a bachelor’s of science in Middle Grades Education, and Georgia Southern University, where she earned her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Gay lives with her husband and two sons in the Liberty Community.

When she thinks about who inspired her to become a teacher, Gay says her mind always turns to Mrs. Kimberly Emmanuel, who was her own 7th grade life science and reading teacher and challenged her class with new reading materials and projects that taught her students time management, deadlines, and a love for historical fiction.

“She had high expectations, built relationships with her students, and she pushed us to be the best we could be,” Gay said.

Gay says she continues to learn from her favorite teacher even today, as after struggling with a serious illness that left her physically disabled, Ms. Emmanuel has had to relearn basic skills such as walking and basic household tasks through physical therapy.

“Even now, 20 years later, she’s teaching me with her positivity and high expectations for herself,” Gay says. “And that’s the kind of teacher that I want to be for my students; the kind of teacher that is still teaching her students 20 years later.”

Megan Calicott is in her sixth year teaching biology and environmental science at Greene County High School. She also coordinates her school’s PBIS program, and teaches at the Foothills Charter School program at the school after-hours. She received her bachelor’s degree in Science Education from the University of Georgia in 2015 and her master’s of science in General Biology fromMississippi State University in 2020.

Calicott said that her teaching philosophy is guided by two beliefs: first, that each student should leave her classroom equipped with skills that will make them successful no matter which path their life may take them, and second, that    genuinely caring about students is the best way to guide and inspire them to success.

Calicott says that growing up, her grandfather was her biggest supporter of her dream to be a teacher. She said that every day when he picked her up from school, he’d ask her “What’d you learn how to do today?” and always let her play school at home as she taught him all the new things she’d learned. She says that today, she pushes herself to be better each and every day, not only for her students, but to make her grandfather proud of the teacher he helped to raise.

“I hope that if any of my students are in need of a person to support them in their educational endeavors that they can find that person in me,” she says. “Because I know that being able to share my passion with someone growing up is what got me to where I am today.”