The Candler County School District has named its three school-wide Teachers of the Year: Cheryl Cobb from Metter Elementary, Stephanie Costley from Metter Middle and Scott Waters from Metter High School.

The 2019 Candler County Teacher of the Year will be named on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m at the K-8 Complex, and will receive the coveted $10,000 Ben Bowen Teacher of the Year Award. Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased at any one of the schools or at the Board of Education office.

“We are fortunate and proud that these teachers represent the caliber and quality that so many of our teachers in this school system possess,” said Assistant Superintendent John Jordan. “It is a great honor to be recognized by peers and others for the hard work put forth daily to support teaching and learning. We are also honored and proud of the continued support that this community provides our school system.

“Each candidate is deserving of the CCSD Teacher of the Year title and we wish them the best of luck in moving forward in our Candler County Teacher of the Year selection process. 

“The selection process now includes a scoring of a written application and an on site interview with a panel of external judges who serve in an educational capacity in various schools systems in Georgia. Candler County School System’s Teacher of the Year will be announced at the Teacher of the Year Banquet on November 12.  The Candler County Teacher of the Year will then complete and submit the application for the Georgia Teacher of the Year.”

Cheryl Cobb, MES

Cheryl Cobb is in her 27th year of education, 24 years as a teacher and three years as a TA. She holds an Education Specialist degree. In addition to her classroom duties, Cobb actively works with hospital homebound students and takes part in the annual Reading Carnival and Family Math Night events.

“I meet kids where they are and see how far I can take them while trying to build a loving relationship between us and each other,” Cobb said of her approach to education.

“Cheryl truly believes that education is not a ‘one-size-fits-all arena,” said MES Principal Lesa Brown. “Every year brings a different group of students and they come with varying needs. Over the years, she has developed a true passion for culturally responsive teaching. 

“She believes it is so important to give all students a safe environment in which to learn without negating their own backgrounds, cultures and identities. She is a teacher who embraces the differences of each student who walks through her door. She uses this knowledge to form everlasting relationships with her students.”

Stephanie Costley, MMS

Stephanie Costley has been teaching ELA at Metter Middle School for nine years. She graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Grades Education with certifications in Reading and Language Arts. She is also Special Education certified. She is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. 

Costley believes that all students should be given every opportunity to have an education and to feel loved and valued by their teachers. No matter how the day starts and what it holds, she believes teachers and students should “Show Up and Stand Out” by working together to make the school day as successful as possible. To her, success is reached through good teacher and student relationships. 

Costley is married and has three children. She and her family attend East Main Street Church of God in Statesboro. She loves watching football, cooking, reading, writing and, most importantly, spending time with her family.  

“Dr. Seuss said: ‘The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’ This quote describes the mindset that Mrs. Costley brings to the classroom each and every day,” said MMS Principal Ralph Carlyle. “Stephanie Costley continues to inspire her students and her own children through reading. She exemplifies the belief that reading is fundamental and that it is essential. She loves every student she teaches and those whom she doesn’t. Her energy in the classroom and among her peers is positive and motivating! We are blessed to have an educator such as Mrs. Costley at Metter Middle School.”

Scott Waters, MHS

Scott Waters just completed his 13th year of teaching and sixth year at Metter High School.  He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Special Education from Georgia Southern University and his Specialist Degree in Teacher Leadership from Valdosta State University.  

“I love teaching students with disabilities and feel that this is God’s calling on my life,” he said. “Additionally, I have a great family. My wife Becky teaches ESOL at Metter Elementary, my daughter Aubrey is in the 8th grade at MMS and my son Cason is in the 3rd grade at MES.  I feel one of my most important responsibilities as a high school teacher is to prepare my students for life after high school. Teaching in the Social Studies department gives me the ability to do this.  Whether it’s about economics or US History, I feel that the students can learn a new perspective about something that will one day pay off after they graduate.”

“‘A good teacher is like a candle: it consumes itself to light the way for others.’ This quote reminds me of Scott Waters as he is well-deserving in being awarded MHS ‘Teacher of the Year,’” said MHS Principal Ellis Strobridge. “Mr. Waters was chosen from a selection committee based upon the criteria of making a difference in the lives of the students he teaches. 

“Scott really does make a difference as is evident in our Economics state assessment scores being the highest in the state. He plans for teaching and learning daily, engages students in rigorous work, and makes learning fun. One of the committee members stated that he is passionate about his subject area and that he has a genuine heart and love for his students.”

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