August 26, 2013

Bennett deserving of teacher award

The Daily Citizen
Associated Press

— Teresa Bennett never wanted to be anything but a teacher. She says that when she was a small girl she even got her younger brother to play school with her.

Today, even after 34 years in education, she still has that youthful enthusiasm for her profession.

That enthusiasm and her skill and caring for her students earned her the 2013 Tom Jones Educator of the Year Award from the Dalton Education Foundation. Bennett received the award Friday night at Harmon Field during the halftime of Dalton High School’s football game with Ringgold. Bennett has taught for 20 years at Dalton High and is currently chair of the English Language Arts department.

Bennett, who was one of the first two teachers from Dalton Public Schools to receive National Board Teacher Certification, is also on the school’s design team to come up with innovative ways to approach teaching and learning.

And she sponsors the Cat Ambassadors, a school organization. Bennett also works with the region and state literacy contestants and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has coordinated a summer trip to New England for juniors at Dalton High every year since 1995.

For the best teachers, including Bennett, teaching isn’t merely a job or even a profession but a calling. They have a love for learning and a love for students and they are able to inspire the youth they mentor, encouraging them to love learning and to seek out their own calling.

Dalton Public Schools is fortunate to have many such teachers. But Bennett stands out even among that dedicated group of educators. She deserves the honor she was given. It reflects well on her and it reflects well on Dalton Public Schools.