On a beautiful autumn morning Oct. 1, community members gathered on Marietta Square for the 20th annual ‘Give Our Schools A Hand’ handprint ceremony celebrating Teachers of the Year for Cobb and Marietta. Backed by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, ‘Give Our Schools A Hand’ is a month-long celebration of educators that began in 1988. District Teachers of the Year have their handprints permanently displayed along the square sidewalk as a permanent tribute to their impact on students. To celebrate the program’s 20th anniversary, Teachers of the Year from the past two decades joined the 2008 winners to be honored.
Chamber of Commerce chairman Sam Kelly spoke about the importance of quality education to business in Cobb County.
Dr. Liz Cole, supervisor of teacher recruitment for the Cobb County School District, helped start ‘Give Our Schools A Hand’ in 1988. She discussed the origins of the program and introduced the system superintendents to the audience.
Superintendent Fred Sanderson introduced Cobb Teacher of the Year Angela Fenton. Mr. Sanderson spoke about the importance of teachers in the lives of students and how the Chamber’s recognition program has been an outstanding partnership between the education and business worlds.
Ms. Fenton began addressing the crowd by dynamically asking the crowd to move forward to participate. She led a crowd of her McClure Middle School students in an enthusiastic cheer about being the ‘stars’ of their school.
Ms. Fenton emphasized the impact of her own teachers in her choice to become an educator. She also spoke of her hopes that her handprints will reflect the positive classroom experiences she has with her students.
The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of the new Teacher of the Year handprints.
Ms. Fenton was joined at the ceremony by a loud and energetic group of her McClure Middle School social studies students.
More than ten past Cobb Teachers of the Year were also honored during the festivities. Superintendent Fred Sanderson presented each with a commemorative rose.
The ‘Give Our Schools A Hand’ celebration will continue throughout the coming weeks, culminating in the Teacher of the Year Pep Rally Nov. 5 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. The pep rally will honor Teachers of the Year from every school in Cobb and Marietta.