Cobb Community Says Thank You, Holds Pep Rally in Honor of Teachers of the Year

Students hold up posters and cardboard cutouts honoring their school’s Teacher of the Year during the 29th annual Teacher of the Year Pep Rally October 24 at Roswell Street Baptist Church. The celebration, which is part of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s “Give Our Schools a Hand” program, celebrated the Teachers of the Year from every public school in Cobb County.

It is the pep rally of the year, and there’s not a sports team in sight. The spirited celebration boosted by cheering fans, a marching band, and cheerleaders honored a different type of hometown heroes—teachers.

Handcrafted, colorful posters adorned with words such as “the world’s greatest teacher,” “superstar,” “awesome,” “makes learning fun,” and “best teacher ever” competed with large bobbing cardboard cutouts of faces of teachers from across the Cobb County School District (CCSD). The students cheered and waved the posters and cardboard heads as if it was a competition on which school loved their Teacher of the Year (TOTY) the most.

The 29th annual Teacher of the Year Pep Rally, which is part of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s “Give Our Schools a Hand” program, celebrated the Teachers of the Year from every public school in Cobb County, October 24.

If the Teachers of the Year didn’t already know how much their students care about them, they learned it as they walked across the stage of Roswell Street Baptist Church to shake the hand of CCSD Superintendent Chris Ragsdale. The crowd of students from each school roared for their TOTY like they just saw their favorite celebrity.

Jeff Dauler and Jenn Hobby, radio hosts of the “Jeff & Jenn Show” on Star 94.1, emceed the TOTY celebration. Osborne High School seniors Thaddeus Shelton and Brian Vazquez presented a musical performance of “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus.

One of the highlights of the energized event zeroed in on the stage where the CCSD Teacher of the Year, Nicole Kempson, of Lindley Sixth Grade Academy stood with the other three District level teachers of the year. Kempson’s face said it all as she reached into a blue bag to draw the name of the Ed Voyles dealership that will provide her a free leased car for a year. Kempson will soon have the keys to a car from the Ed Voyles Jeep lot. Stacy Pitts, CCSD Elementary School Teacher of the Year, will pull up to Vaughan Elementary School in her Ed Voyles Hyundai. CCSD High School Teacher of the Year, Holly Hoover, of Kennesaw Mountain High School will cruise to school in a shiny new Ed Voyles Kia. The keys of a new Ed Voyles Honda go to Marietta City Schools Teacher of the Year, Carrie Rainey.

The car giveaway and pumped-up pep rally, where students celebrated their teachers like rock stars, were not the first celebrations of the day for the teachers. Community partners, principals, and other school staff also honored the teachers at a Teacher of the Year Celebration breakfast sponsored by the Cobb Chamber. Each teacher walked away with a bag of gifts from community partners like the Elf on the Shelf. Osborne High School junior Larq Womble sang “Rise Up” by Andra Day.

From childhood baby photos to video with their students inside the classroom, attendees at the breakfast watched profile videos showcasing Nicole Kempson’s and Carrie Rainey’s journey to 2017 Cobb County School District and Marietta City Schools Teachers of the Year.

Sharing a story about an influential teacher in his own life, Cobb Chamber President and CEO David Connell reminded the room of award-winning educators that teachers make history. Teachers change the future.