Though her family tree was full of teachers, Amy Gleaton resisted the pull of becoming one. But a stint into substitute teaching showed her that the classroom would be her ultimate destination. On Monday evening, Ms. Gleaton’s work as a teacher was recognized as she was named the 2013-14 Dalton Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year. The announcement came during a ceremony honoring all the school-level winners for Teacher of the Year within the district.
Ms. Gleaton has taught in Dalton Public Schools for 10 years—the last two at Dalton High School as a 10th and 11th grade chemistry and physical science teacher. She also spent almost two years as a paraprofessional and 3 years as a preschool teacher at First Baptist Church Children’s Learning Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in middle grades education from the State University of West Georgia.
Chairman of the Dalton Board of Education Danny Crutchfield presented Ms. Gleaton with the award. “Amy is an outstanding teacher who will only continue to get better,” Mr. Crutchfield said. “We appreciate you for inspiring students to grow in many ways beyond their understanding of science.”
Ms. Gleaton says she believes outstanding teachers show interest in the material, but even more so in the students. “An outstanding teacher strives for mastery, yet recognizes the importance of struggle,” she said. “Kids deserve outstanding teachers who love to teach, who love them, and who cherish the short time we have to make a difference.”
She says she wants her greatest contribution to students to be meeting them where they are and guiding them to see the possibility of where they can be. “Equipping our students to be both dreamers and realistic planners, to be critical thinkers but not critical people, to understand that the actions we choose have far reaching implications are just some of the lessons I hope to continue learning along with my students.”
Other school level Teachers of the Year winners included Ashley McMath, Blue Ridge School; Jane Keegan, Brookwood School; Jaclyn Wilson, City Park School; Kimberley Fannin, Park Creek School; Christen Brown, Roan School, Megan Walker, Westwood School; William Henderson, Dalton Middle School; and Julia Cagle, Morris Innovative High School.
Ms. Gleaton will now compete with other district Teachers of the Year from across the Georgia for state Teacher of the Year.