Natasha Lewis, social studies teacher at Allatoona High School, received a $1,000 New Teacher Assistance Grant from Georgia Power during a luncheon ceremony Oct. 26. Each year since 2004, Georgia Power has awarded $1,000 grants for classroom supplies to some of the state’s best and brightest new teachers. The purpose of the program is to encourage promising new teachers by helping them purchase materials and supplies for use in their classroom beyond those provided by their school. The items purchased with the grant money are the property of the teacher, not of the school system. Ms. Lewis is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.
Nominations are received from the deans of each public college and university in Georgia that has a school of education. Candidates have to be in the top 25 percent of the graduating class academically, have shown high aptitude for teaching, and must have secured employment as a first-year teacher in a public school in Georgia.
Grants are awarded to two graduates from each college, one female and one male. Each college is allowed to nominate up to ten candidates: five females and five males, but not less than three of each sex. A selection committee composed of statewide educators and Georgia Power staff reviews each candidate, working to ensure diversity among the recipients with respect to grade level and subject matter taught; attempts are also made to ensure each region of the state has grant recipients. Selection Committee members are not told the names of the candidates, helping to ensure impartiality in the process.