2017-08-09 / Front Page

Miller County Schools Welcome New Teachers

Summer officially ended for teachers, staff and administrators last Tuesday morning, August 1, as the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year kicked off.

Everyone gathered in the Miller County School Lunchroom for a system-wide back-to-school breakfast. Everyone seemed excited and had smiles on their faces as they were preparing for another school year.

After a delicious breakfast prepared by Kay Fleet and the lunchroom staff, Superintendent, Jimmy Phillips welcomed everyone back and told the faculty how good they looked and that it was going to be a wonderful year. He then introduced the guests present and thanked each one for coming.

Dr. Princess M. Ndow was introduced as the new principal of Miller County High School while Allen Martin was announced as the new elementary school principal. Former elementary principal Cleve Roland was moved to be the new principal at Miller County Middle School.

The new teachers and parapros are as follows:

Sandra Allen lives in Miller County. She is married to Tim Allen. She and Tim have two daughters, Jamie Burke and Crystal Holt. They have two grandchildren, Paige Burke and Larkin Holt. Sandra is excited to be teaching Third Grade Science at MCES!

Walter Belisle Bio is 43, and married to a local Donalsonville girl for 17 years, three months, and 13 days. They have three children. Tyler is 16 and is a junior at Seminole County High, Anna is 13 and in the eighth grade, and Sara is 7 and in the second grade. Walter’s family is his life. Science is his main hobby, and he loves to teach. He calls himself a “Mad Scientist.” He loves to find new and interesting ways to experience science. This is Walter’s eighth year teaching. He has taught Chemistry and Physics at the high school and college level. He also teaches Biology,

Zoology, Physical Science, and he is certified for many others. His parents have a combined 74 years in the Florida school system. His father is a retired science teacher, and his mom was a special education and guidance counselor. Walter uses his garage as a personal lab where he tinkers, builds, and runs his own science experiments.

Sarah Holman will be teaching Fourth Grade Reading & Language Arts at Miller County Elementary. She graduated from Early County High School in 2005. She received her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education from Georgia Southern University in 2010. She also has a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Reading & Literacy. Holman previously taught at Early County Elementary where she also served as a coach for Odyssey of the Mind. She is married to Spinks Holman; they have three sons (Ricky 5, Ridge 3, Max Rhett 1). Ricky will begin kindergarten at Miller County Elementary this year.

John Maloy is the new maintenance manager at Miller County Schools. He received his HVAC-R degree from Fortis College where he was also an HVAC-R instructor.

He has been employed with Colquitt Conditioned Air as an HVAC technician as well as the Hospital Authority of Miller County. He also has worked as a maintenance electrician at John B. Sanfillipo Operations Plant.

He has been married to his wife, Tina, for 29 years. They have two children, Garrett and Samantha.

Wendy Martin is an elementary school teacher, who has worked at Gray Elementary School for the past 16 years. Before moving there, she worked in the Wilkinson County School System for seven years. She has three degrees in early childhood education – a Bachelor’s, a Master’s, and a Specialist’s – as well as degrees in educational leadership, a gifted endorsement. She is also a Master Teacher. Martin has worked as a homeroom teacher, a regular classroom teacher, and a gifted teacher, as well as an administrator. She has a great passion for teaching, and she is very much looking forward to teaching in Miller County.

She is married to Allen Martin and they have two daughters, Taylor – a 2017 University of Alabama graduate and Jamie – a 2017 Jones County graduate.

Zach McConnell is a Special Education teacher at Miller County High School. He is co-teaching various classes for the ninth and 11th grade. McConnell is from Bainbridge and graduated from Bainbridge High School in 2011. He graduated from Troy University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History. He is also one of the football coaches for the Miller County High School Football Team and is looking forward to serving your kids here at Miller County High. Go, Pirates!

Freddie Odom is originally from the Alabama Gulf Coast, but moved to the area after his father went into the ministry. He graduated from Early County High School and taught there for 12 years before deciding to be a Pirate.

Odom holds a B.S. in History from Georgia Southwestern State University, a Master of Arts in Military History from Norwich University (a small military college in the northeast), and a certificate from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at UGA.

While he is not at school, he serves on the Swamp Gravy Cast Council and as the third-term mayor of the town of Bluffton, among other things.

He is married to Emily Scott Odom and they have one child, Millee.

Beth Anne Pickle is married to Shelton Pickle, and they have one daughter, Bryn Pickle, who will be two in October. She previously worked at Miller County Elementary, but decided to be a stay-at-home mom when we had Bryn. She have an Associate’s Degree in Science and Art, and plans to finish her Bachelor’s Degree at a later date. Beth Anne is excited to be back!

April Powell will be teaching fourth grade at Miller County Elementary this school term. She began her teaching career in Miller County in 1996. Powell moved to Decatur County schools and taught there for 16 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State University and a master’s degree for Georgia Southwestern State University. She is married to Todd Powell and has two children. Her son Cody is a senior at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and will graduate in December. Her daughter Grace Ann Powell is a sophomore at Georgia Southwestern University. “I am very excited to be back in Miller County and beginning my 19th year in education,” she says.

Tamara Grow Spann will be teaching Healthcare Sciences at Miller County High School as well as Work Based Learning. She is a 2000 graduate of Miller County High School and a 2005 graduate of Darton College where she received an Associate Degree in Nursing. She went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgia Southwestern State University in 2010. She has 12 years of experience in the medical field and is also an employee at Miller County Hospital in the Emergency Department. Tamara is married to Chad Spann, and they have two kids, KJ and Beckett Spann.

Mary Katherine Spooner is a 2011 graduate from Miller County High School. After graduation, Mrs. Spooner attended Darton College for two years, then transferred to Armstrong Atlantic State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish. She is very excited about her first year of teaching and is looking forward to an exciting school year.

Dr. Cyndy Reed Stewart had been an educator for over 15 years. New to Miller County, she is employed as an Interrelated Teacher, one who serves students with special learning needs across grade levels. She is very excited about joining the Miller County Schools as a veteran teacher.

Dr. Stewart is a classic “Navy Brat.” Her daddy served in the US Naval services for 27 years. She has lived in several states throughout her life –including Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, South Carolina and now resides is Tallahassee, Florida. She received her Bachelor of Science and a Master’s degrees in Education from South Carolina State University. After which she continued her graduate studies in Higher Education administration at Iowa State University, where she received her Ph.D. degree and a second master’s degree.

She is married to Jesse Stewart. They have one son Christopher, a recent college graduate and one granddaughter, Sophia (little Cyndy). Dr. Stewart believes in that saying, “One is called to teach.” She comes from generations of educators – beginning with her great grandfather to her mother – who recently passed. She strongly believes in the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” She looks forward to being an integral part of our village for a while as she assists our children in fulfilling their academic lives as both their teacher and role model.

Emily Wheeler is originally from Jasper, GA, which is an hour north of Atlanta. She was involved in FFA in high school through showing pigs. She earned an Associate’s degree at ABAC and received her Bachelor’s degree at the UGA Tifton Campus. Her favorite things to do are singing, ride horses, and listen to rock music.

Martha Widner is married to Bobby Widner, and they both graduated from Miller County High School in 1976, left to raise a family and work on their careers in 1979, and were blessed to return in 2014 to make Miller County their home again.

“I am the proud ‘meme’ to Maddelyn, Mary Grace, and Miller who keep me young and in shape. They are the loves of my life,” she says.

Widner has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from LaGrange College. She has a teacher add-on degree and Master’s in Business Education from Georgia Southwestern State University.

She is in her 18th year of teaching Business Education having previously taught at Monroe High School in Albany, Georgia; Calhoun County High School in Edison; Georgia, and Baker County High School in Newton, Georgia.

“I am excited to be returning to Miller County High School to teach. I am grateful for the opportunity and look forward to meeting parents and students in the coming days. Let’s go, Pirates!” she added.

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