“This person teaches her students with love, guidance and grace. She creates an active learning environment where students feel safe in taking risks,” Macy Defnall, executive director of human resources and support services, said of Freeman on behalf of the school system. “She’s a mentor, a leader and a learner and teaching is her calling.”
Freeman said she appreciated being named Teacher of the Year, but felt all teachers deserved recognition for their work.
“Teachers sacrifice so much. We get up every morning, we go to work early, we stay all day, we stay late, we take our work home with us, it’s just part of who we are,” Freeman said. “I don’t think I’m any more deserving than anyone else in this room, but it’s just a blessing to have such a thankless job and for someone to say ‘thank you.’”
Along with Freeman, the foundation nominated Pamela Fitzgerald of Kingston Elementary School and Sharon Reed of Adairsville Middle School as Teacher of the Year.
“Teachers, thank you for supporting our children and working day in and day out inside of our classrooms,” Superintendent John Harper said. “… We’ve made terrific academic gains in Bartow County in the last few years and you’re the reason for that.”
Foundation president Wayne Moore said he appreciates the donations of teachers and the community to further the efforts of the foundation. Dot Frasier, who serves as executive director of the foundation, also thanked the teachers for their service in the community.
“You are the elite group. … You are dealing with the most precious commodity that God put on this earth,” Frasier said. “You are forming them and you are molding them and no other job is more important than yours. … Every one of you are teachers of the year.”
Moore and Georgia Bank & Trust sponsored the event, which was catered by Grand Oaks. More than 15 local businesses made donations to this year’s Teacher of the Year program.