Three finalist for Teacher of the Year
Floyd County selects three finalist for Teacher of the Year
Posted on 08/24/2011

Three teachers have been selected as finalists for the 2012 Teacher of the Year recognition program for Floyd County Schools. The three finalists are: Leah Couch, a math teacher at Coosa High School; Mark Dulaney, a math teacher at Coosa Middle School; and Alana Ellenburg, a High School 101 teacher in the 9th Grade Academy at Pepperell High School. 

Leah Couch teaches ninth and tenth-grade math at Coosa High School. She is in just her fourth year of teaching and has spent that time in a classroom at Coosa High. Mrs. Couch is a graduate of Jacksonville State University with a secondary education mathematics degree. She is gifted certified and AP certified. She is working toward her masters degree in curriculum, instruction and technology from Nova Southeastern University. Mrs. Couch feels that the secret to being a good teacher is listening. She said,” I feel that listening to my students and having them tell me what will help them learn has greatly helped me to become a better teacher.”

Mark Dulaney teaches sixth through eighth-grade inclusion and resource math at Coosa Middle School. He started his career in 2006 teaching middle school students in Texas. He made his way to Rome and to Coosa Middle School to teach special education inclusion classes in 2008. Mr. Dulaney is a graduate of the University of Houston – Clear Lake and holds a masters degree from Lamar University. It is the personal successes of students that motivate Mr. Dulaney to teach. “Even the most cynical eighth-grade student, while they may not act as if they care about learning, cannot hide their joy at finally learning a skill at which they have long struggled,” he said. “For the teacher, this moment is certainly a motivating factor that keeps us wanting to have that experience over and over again.”

Alana Ellenburg teaches High School 101 at Pepperell High School. She started her career at Pepperell High in 1998 and has also taught Athletic Training and Sports Medicine, First Aid, Health and Fitness, Weight Training and General Physical Education. Ms. Ellenburg is a graduate of Jacksonville State University with an undergraduate, a master degree and her EDS. She was inducted into the Dixie Softball Hall-of-Fame in 2009. Ms. Ellenburg feels her greatest contribution to education is her willingness to give to her students what she has to give. “I am there for them,” she said. “I want to give students the tools and support they need to grow and reach their potential.”

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 three top teachers will continue in the selection process to select the 2012 Floyd County Schools "Teacher of the Year” that will include a personal interview and a classroom observation of each teacher working with students. The interviews will be held on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at the Floyd County Board of Education Office on Riverside Parkway. The selection process will conclude on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 with classroom observations. The finalists will be evaluated by a committee made up of members of the Floyd/Rome Retired Teachers Association.

The 2012 Floyd County Schools "Teacher of the Year" will be honored on October 11, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. during the regular monthly meeting of the Floyd County Board of Education. The Floyd County Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Northwest Georgia Credit Union.