Oconee Teacher of the Year tells students they’re fine just the way they are

The Oconee Chamber of Commerce honored Oconee County Teacher of the Year Sandra Nash and others at a Thursday breakfast meeting.

 

The county’s 2017-18 Teacher of the Year Award is the second for the North Oconee High School English teacher, who was also tapped in 2000.

Nash has taught in Oconee County since 1993, and has been in education since 1977.

The chamber also recognized teachers of the year from each of the Oconee County school district’s other nine schools at the Thursday morning meeting, held at North Oconee High School.

Chosen by their peers from among a teaching force of more than 600, “they are the best of the best,” said Oconee County School Superintendent Jason Branch.

“In my opinion there’s no greater honor than to be recognized by your peers that you work beside every day,” he said.

Nash’s philosophy, according to material she submitted to judges, is that “all children want to be loved for who they are. I do my best to let my students know that they are wonderful just as they are,” though she admits to helping them “polish up.”

“As a principal, I’ve learned that sometimes there are people in the room who are smarter than you and just have to let them talk,” said North Oconee principal Philip Brown said. “Mrs. Nash is one of those people.”

Branch and the chamber also recognized nine other women named their schools’ teachers of the year:

Colham Ferry Elementary School - Rachel Aaron

High Shoals Elementary School - Sharon Golden

Malcom Bridge Elementary School - Jill Wayne

Oconee County Elementary School - Rachael Hadden

Oconee County Primary School - Charlotte Chromiak

Rocky Branch Elementary School - Mimi Gaines

Malcom Bridge Middle School - Crystal Melton

Oconee County Middle School - Tabitha Register

Oconee County High School - Katie Williams

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