Starting her day off early, Teacher of the Year Jill Vining is greeted each morning by her excited students, full of questions and ready to start their day.  

During the average school day, Jill rotates through three classes of students, teaching spelling, grammar and reading, and even working with them on becoming published writers.

“The days are full of laughter, sharing, caring and sometimes even tears. When you are a teacher, you are more than just someone who delivers information to children. 

“Our day is full of surprises, teachable moments and full of times we have to put on the hats of another job to handle situations that may occur. It can be challenging at times, but it is one of the most rewarding professions I believe a person could ever have,” said Jill. 

As a 3rd grade Reading, ELA and Writing teacher at Metter Intermediate School, Jill teaches her students how important reading and comprehension are. 

“In my opinion, reading is the foundation of all subjects. If a student can read and comprehend, they will most likely have an easier time learning in all subject areas because all content areas require students to read and comprehend, especially from 3rd grade on. If a child can read and comprehend, the child can learn about most anything,” said Jill. 

Using computer-based projects and tasks that mirror reading skills, Jill teaches her students to be innovative with technology and learning. “The computer activities work to help students engage in the skill that is being learned and show what they know in a different way, other than paper and pencil,” she said. 

Her classroom is also where she is innovative in how the students interact with each other. “I believe in having a ‘family’ within my classroom. That means when my students are with me, when we shut the door, we are respectful to one another. We praise one another. We help one another. We show compassion. We trust one another.  We encourage one another. We care for one another,” said Jill. 

For 11 years, Jill has been teaching children the value of an education and reading. From the time she was old enough to attend school herself, Jill has surrounded herself with teaching others, even if it meant her stuffed animals. 

“As a little child, I always loved to ‘teach’ my baby dolls, stuffed animals and anything that I could get to sit in my ‘classroom.’ I believe my desire to teach came from the wonderful and powerful teachers I encountered throughout school. They played an influential part of my life and the decisions I have made … My heart has always been aimed towards helping children learn,” Jill said. 

Born and raised in Cobbtown, Jill attended David Emanuel Academy and graduated in 2001. After high school, she attended Brewton-Parker College, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. In 2008, Jill achieved her master’s degree in reading and literacy from Walden University.

Jill is married to Jason Vining, and the couple have two children, Jase and Judson. In her free time, Jill enjoys spending time with family and friends, attending sporting events for her kids, scrapbooking and decorating. 

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