Floyd County Schools Teacher of the Year
Alana Ellenburg is named Floyd County Schools Teacher of the Year
Posted on 09/26/2011

Alana Ellenburg, a teacher at Pepperell High School, has been selected the Floyd County Schools Teacher of the Year for 2012. Ms. Ellenburg teaches the course High School 101 to help young teens entering high school adapt to the heightened expectations and demands of high school life. Ellenburg started teaching the course five years ago and she truly feels High School 101 has been a blessing for her career. She said,”I really feel that we have developed a program that will sustain these young teens and help them succeed in high school and in life.” She added, “This gives them the basis to better understand who they are, what their strengths are and how they can build on that knowledge to be successful now and in the future.” The High School 101 course is taught to freshmen in Floyd County Schools as a part of the Freshman Academy Program that seeks to provide a bridge for students from middle school to high school. High School 101 teaches ninth graders proper study skills, different paths they can take to a high school diploma, the credits needed to graduate, along with life skills that can help in the location of a job and successful in life.

Dr. Lynn Plunkett, superintendent of Floyd County Schools, credits Ellenburg with innovations in the High School 101 program. She said, “Ms. Ellenburg has developed a curriculum for High School 101 that is getting students involved in their learning and she is bringing in the community to help teach skills these young people will need to be successful in life.” Ellenburg’s successes are being replicated and shared with other teachers of High School 101 in Floyd County. Ellenburg said, “I am passionate about teaching this age group because these young adults are at a crucial time in their life and I want to help them find their way to success in high school and in life after high school.”

Ms. Ellenburg’s students know that she cares for them as individuals and they respond to her instruction. Student Ross Wood said, “Ms. Ellenburg is cool because she really gets into your life and understands what is going on with you so that she can use that to help you learn.” Student Stephen Jones agrees, “She is an amazing teacher because she encourages us to explore our unique talents and she uses our interests to teach lessons.” Jones added, “She found that I had an interest in cooking and food and she let me bake cakes and bring them to class to demonstrate a concept.” PHS senior Stephanie Barwick understands that Ms. Ellenburg has had an impact on her high school career. She said, “I used lessons Ms. Ellenburg taught me to place third in the state in a job interview competition for FFA.” She added, “She has taught me to reach out and make connections with other people and extend myself and my boundaries so that I can reach for my goals.”

Ms. Ellenburg has taught for 14 years and all of her teaching career has been at Pepperell High School. She started teaching Health and Fitness and developed the curriculum for a Sports Medicine and First Aid class. She has also taught physical education and weight training. Ellenburg is a graduate of Jacksonville State with undergraduate, masters and EDS degrees. She was a standout softball player in high school and college and has been inducted into the Dixie Softball Hall of Fame.

Alana Ellenburg was selected as the top teacher for Floyd County Schools from three finalists. The finalists were: Leah Couch, a math teacher at Coosa High School, Mark Dulaney an inclusion and resource math teacher at Coosa Middle School, and Ellenburg. The finalists were selected by a review committee from Northwest Georgia RESA. The committee made the selections from written applications submitted by the Teacher of the Year representatives from each school in the Floyd County School System. Questions asked in the application were taken from the Georgia Teacher of the Year application form. The selection of Floyd County’s Teacher of the Year was made by a panel of retired educators from the Rome/Floyd Retired Educators Association. The finalists participated in personal interviews and classroom observations as a part of the selection process. Ms. Ellenburg will now represent Floyd County Schools in the Georgia Teacher of the Year recognition program. The Georgia Teacher of the Year will be announced by the Georgia Department of Education in the spring.

Ellenburg and the rest of the individual school Teachers of the Year will be honored at the October Floyd County Board of Education meeting. Local school “Teachers of the Year” are: Erica McKinney, Alto Park Elementary; Kimberly Fallin, Armuchee Elementary; Emily Mowery, Armuchee High; Gretchen Brock, Armuchee Middle; Daniel McLean, Cave Spring Elementary; Leah Couch, Coosa High; Mark Dulaney, Coosa Middle; John Bryant, Floyd County Education Center; Ron Pajor, Floyd County Schools College & Career Academy; Chamaine Ray, Garden Lakes Elementary; Amy Young, Glenwood Primary; Buffy Davis, Johnson Elementary; Janet Farr, McHenry Primary; Wendy Blythe, Midway Primary; Melissa Long, Model Elementary; Kelly Stoud, Model High; Gladys Velez, Model Middle; Brandy McKenzie, Pepperell Primary; Julie Bishop, Pepperell Elementary; Kami Gillespie, Pepperell Middle; and Alana Ellenburg, Pepperell High.