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Pursuit of Excellence Winners for March

Congratulations to the following employees who are the March 2023 recipients of the Pursuit of Excellence Award for the Baldwin County School District.

Cully Hollinshead

ELA/Science Teacher at Georgia College Early College

Cully Hollinshead is relatively new to the Baldwin County School district, working in his first year as an ELA/Science Teacher at Georgia College Early College and has already established himself as a model of excellence.

He was nominated by his colleague, Dennis Holsey. Mr. Holsey had the following to say, “Mr. Hollinshead goes above and beyond with his students. Over the past couple of months, I have witnessed Mr. Hollinshead grow from a teacher to an educator. In some ways, he is also an influencer. He impacts the students in so many ways. He started the Zoo Club, which allows students to get up close and personal with animals. In the morning for ELT, Mr. Hollinshead takes his students around campus to explore the plant life located in Milledgeville. He also has built a relationship with his students in which they always eagerly report to his class in the morning no matter what. Mr. Hollinshead gives students the opportunity to be themselves. In return, the students have accepted Mr. Hollinshead into their families and welcomed him with open arms. Mr. Hollinshead demands greatness, but at the same time, he goes step by step to ensure that the students understand and grasp the content so that they can reach their full potential. ” Mr. Hollinshead, thank you for being a model of excellence!

Crystal Little

Instructional Coach at Oak Hill Middle School

Crystal Little is working in her 16th year for the Baldwin County School District. She currently works as an Instructional Coach at Oak Hill Middle School. Mrs. Little was nominated by her colleague, Laura Horton.

Ms. Horton had the following to say, “Mrs. Little has been a phenomenal coach for me as a new teacher to the Baldwin County School District this year. Although her forte is math and science, she regularly offers advice, ideas, suggestions, etc. to help me as an ELA teacher be successful in my 6th grade classroom. From the first day I started at Oak Hill Middle School, she has been dedicated to providing all of us new teachers with quality support regardless of content areas. She makes herself available to come and model classroom management techniques, offers technology instruction, and answers my frequent questions on a variety of issues. I really appreciate her teaching me how to capture and use student data to differentiate my lessons and focus my instruction to meet my students' needs. Without a doubt, her number one priority is meeting students' academic and emotional needs. She offers a plethora of skills and techniques to teachers for the different learning styles of our students. For instance, she introduced me to the Daily Grammar Practice program and demonstrated it for a week in one of my classes. Then she showed me how to actively monitor and guide students to find the answers themselves. I see my students growing because of this program and I am grateful.

Mrs. Little is also an encourager, as a coach should be, with the mentality of, "You can do this!" There were times at the beginning of the school year when I felt overwhelmed and inadequate. There she was, encouraging and supportive, telling me, "You've got this." And she was right! I have a lot of confidence now with several tools and strategies in my teacher's toolbox because of her. I'm just one person, one teacher at Oak Hill Middle School. She offers this to all of us, experienced and inexperienced. Baldwin County is blessed to have such a talented and skilled instructional coach who actively mentors its teachers, leading us to higher levels of excellence. Mrs. Little is a person who pursues excellence for herself and others and should be selected as a Pursuit of Excellence winner. ” Mrs. Little, thank you for being the epitome of excellence!

Yolanda Williams

Special Education Paraprofessional at Lakeview Primary

Yolanda Williams has been working for over 20 years for the Baldwin County School District. Mrs. Williams currently works as a Special Education Paraprofessional at Lakeview Primary. She was nominated by her colleague, Heather Cox.

Ms. Cox had the following to say, “Mrs. Williams is not only an asset to my classroom but to Lakeview Primary and the Baldwin County School District. She arrives early daily with a sunny disposition ready to take on the day. Mrs. Williams works tirelessly with my students with special needs to make sure not only their academic needs are met but also their personal care needs are met with compassion and kindness. She is willing and ready to do anything that is asked of her whether it is part of her regular responsibilities or not. She always has a smile on her face and brings joy and enthusiasm to my class with her smiling and singing. She takes behavioral difficulties in stride and understands that our students' behavior is communication due to their nonverbal status. Mrs. Williams is ready and willing to learn how to best assist our students at their current level to help them progress. She is a blessing on a daily basis. Her willingness to go above and beyond combined with her genuine love for our student population is very apparent to all who know her. Working with students with severe disabilities can be a huge challenge but Mrs. Williams takes it for what it is, an opportunity to change our precious students' lives for the better. ” Mrs. Williams, thank you for modeling excellence!

Stephanie Wright

Family Advocate at the Early Learning Center

Stephanie Wright is working in her 5th year for the Baldwin County School District. Mrs. Wright currently works as a Family Advocate at the Early Learning Center. She was nominated by her colleague, Crystal Beard. Ms. Beard had the following to say, “When I think of excellence, I think of Mrs. Stephanie Wright. She goes above and beyond to serve our sweet children. Not only is she an advocate, but a motivator and a cheerleader. Every morning around 7:20 am, you can find Mrs. Wright in the green pod hallway with her speaker. She turns on ‘Gracie’s Corner’ good morning song and as the boys and girls pass by to go to their classes, she greets them with music, cheers, and encouragement. Some of the children may be sad arriving at school from a possibly negative home situation or environment, but when they pass Mrs. Wright, their troubles seem to disappear, even if only temporarily. Now instead of sad faces passing through in the morning, the hall is filled with singing, laughter, and happiness thanks to Mrs. Wright."

"Mrs. Wright is always willing to lend a hand no matter what. Whether it is to help a child or a co-worker. She can be a peacemaker when she needs to be as well as a fighter, fighting for the needs and rights of our children. For her positive energy, her sensitivity and compassion for the needs of others, and her uplifting attitude toward our children and staff members, it is my pleasure to nominate Mrs. Stephanie Wright for the Pursuit of Excellence award." Thank You Mrs. Wright for showing us how to walk in excellence." Mrs. Wright, thank you for being a shining example of excellence!

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