November 26, 2013

A well-deserved honor

The Daily Citizen

— Except for parents, teachers probably have more of an impact on a child than any other adult.

And those teachers who work with the youngest of children probably have the greatest impact of all. Several studies have shown that how well a child reads in the third grade predicts with great accuracy how well that child will do later in school and in life.

Our youngest children need our best teachers.

And children in area Head Start programs have those teachers. In fact, one of those teachers, Angie Mathis, was recently recognized as the top Head Start teacher in the state.

Mathis has been a Head Start teacher for 25 years, starting as an assistant teacher at Westside Head Start in 1988. She taught at Westside until it closed earlier this year. She has been teaching at Dalton Heritage Head Start since. In addition to her work as a teacher, she helps train other Head Start teachers and has served on several committees. Head Start and Early Head Start are federally funded programs that promote school readiness for low-income students up to age 5.

On Friday, co-workers, family and friends honored Mathis for her award and for her accomplishments as a teacher. They said her energy and enthusiasm inspire not only her students but her fellow teachers.

As Georgia Head Start Teacher of the Year, Mathis will compete for teacher of the year for the entire Southeastern United States next year. We wish her well. Georgia could not be represented by a better teacher, and local Head Start students are fortunate to have her and many other dedicated and caring teachers.