If a teacher in Cobb County ever daydreamed about being a rock star and stepping on stage to a roaring crowd of fans, they don’t have to go on “American Idol” or travel the globe with a famous band. They just have to stand out for doing what they do every day—helping kids succeed.
As Cobb’s 2018-2019 Teachers of the Year recently stepped into the auditorium of Roswell Street Baptist Church, many looked up and around in awe at all the students shaking pom-poms, cheering their names, and waving colorful posters in their honor. Some may have been surprised to see their own faces bobbing up and down on cardboard cutouts. One group of students added an extra tribute to their Teacher of the Year by sporting bald caps in order to look more like their beloved teacher.
The 30th 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 on October 23.
Each Teacher of the Year, like a famous celebrity, walked on the stage to cheers, some screams, and a few squeals from the passionate crowd. Before accepting their Teacher of the Year plaque from Superintendent Chris Ragsdale, many waved to their adoring fans.
One of the highlights of the hyped-up pep rally was when the three Cobb County School District Teacher of the Year level winners and the Marietta City Schools Teacher of the Year stepped on stage for the annual car drawing. Ed Voyles Automotive Group gives Cobb’s Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers of the Year, along with Marietta City Schools’ Teacher of the Year, the opportunity to choose a new car to drive during their reign as Teachers of the Year.
This year in honor of three decades of the Chamber’s program to honor teachers, the Ed Voyles group added an extra surprise. With all the teachers watching, they drew the name of one more teacher who will have a free car to drive for the next year. When the winner, Julie Beck, walked on stage for the car drawing, her face said it all. It was a surprise that the McCall Primary School teacher didn’t see coming.
Beck, along with Cobb’s District level winners Fred Veeder, Rachael Sanford, and Dawn Harrell, will pick up the keys to their new cars at an event in November.