Tickets are on sale now for the 2017 Teacher of the Year celebration. Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased at each school and the Board office. The event will be held tonight from 6-7 p.m. at the Bigwood Room of the K-8 Complex.

The system-wide Teacher of the Year will be named from each of Candler County’s school level honorees: Alyx Duckworth, Metter Elementary; Julie Ray, Metter Middle; and Vic Fordham, Metter High School. 

The teachers who were selected completed a series of narrative essays, interviewed before three judges and provided a video of a lesson for the judges. 

Alyx Duckworth

 Alyx Duckworth holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and master’s degree in teaching in learning, both from Georgia Southern University. 

Over the past 7 years, she has taught Pre-K and 2nd grade students, been a part of the leadership committee, and has coached middle school softball, basketball and tennis. She currently teaches 2nd grade math and is lead learner for her grade level and the math team. 

When asked about Candler County Schools, she responded, “Candler County is home to me. I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of an education system that values communication, student growth, and innovation.” 

When asked what she loves about teaching, Duckworth said, “Teaching makes me happy. Knowing that I have the opportunity to show children values in life and how to connect learning to the real-world, makes my heart full. I want them to always know how much I love them, they can do anything they put their heart to, and to remember I am always their biggest fan!” 

Duckworth is the daughter of Earl and Nancy Duckworth from Metter. She is engaged to be married to Rayburn Powell. They attend Grace Community Church. 

When she is not teaching, Duckworth enjoys Bible Study with her friends, spending time with her family, reading and working in the yards.

 Julie Ray

 Julie Ray has taught for 24 years, and this is her 8th year at Metter Middle School. She holds a bachelor of science degree in biology and English, a masters in exercise science and is certified in secondary English, biology, PE and health. 

Ray currently teaches 7th grade and loves working with middle school students. “Seventh graders are funny and insightful,” she said. 

Ray enjoys teaching at MMS because of the students and her colleagues. “Metter Middle School has such a family-like support system. I just love working with my fellow teachers and with the students because they always have my back.” 

Ray recalls one of her favorite teaching moments, “A few weeks ago the students were writing ‘Black Out’ poetry. I got goosebumps reading their work! The students were so excited and so proud of their work, as was I. You should have seen them! That is what teaching is all about.” 

Ray lives by her golden rule, Maya Angelou’s quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Ray also works at the Coastal Plains Charter School helping students be successful in completing their high school diploma. 

Outside of school, she enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her family (daughter, Maggie) and friends. She has two chihuahuas. 

 Vic Fordham

 A native and lifelong resident of Metter, Vic Fordham graduated Metter High in 2005 and studied at Georgia Southern for several years before completing a BA in history and a BS in education at Brewton-Parker College in 2013. 

He completed an MA in Biblical Counseling from Luther Rice Seminary in 2016 and will complete an MA in history from Liberty University in May 2018. 

Fordham is in his fifth year of teaching, all five of which have been at Metter High School as a social studies teacher. He has taught world history, US history, economics and government and spent a few years as assistant band director. He also taught middle school band for a year. For the past two years, he has been lead learner for the MHS Social Studies Department. 

Fordham and his wife Hannah reside near Soperton. He is pastor of Morningside Baptist Church in Treutlen Co. 

“My mother (Joy Ferry) was a teacher in Candler County for most of her career and I always knew I wanted to be a teacher like her,” Fordham said. 

“Being a product of the Candler County School System, I always knew when I went to college that I wanted to give back to it. This is the best place in the world to teach and I could not imagine being anywhere else! I get to come to school every day and teach U.S. history in the same classroom that Linda Webb taught that subject to me ... I count that as an honor and a dream truly come true!” 

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