1999 Teacher of the Year
Leslie Carroll, an eighth-grade math and science teacher at Model Middle School

Leslie CarrollFloyd County Schools has selected Leslie Carroll, an eighth-grade math and science teacher at Model Middle School, as the 1998-99 Teacher of the Year. Ms. Carroll was selected as this year's top teacher from a list of finalists that included the Teacher of the Year form each school in the Floyd County School System. Ms. Carroll began her teaching career in 1975 in Dekalb County. She moved to Floyd County in 1987, teaching gifted classes at Model Middle, Model Elementary, and Johnson Elementary. Ms. Carroll feels that she was meant to be a teacher, "It strikes me, that the need to become a teacher was foreshadowed all along. My grandmother was a teacher, my mother was a teacher, and my sister was and still is a teacher. . . it almost seemed genetic."

Carroll stated that her love for nature and learning led her to teach science. "Some of my fondest memories of learning occurred in classrooms without walls. Collecting fossils on ajunior high field trip or hiking along the Appalachian Trail, my enjoyment of experiencing nature and a desire to share it with others led me to take the steps necessary in education to become a science teacher." She has also translated this love for nature into her personal teaching philosophy. She said, "Teaching school in many ways resembles tending a garden. Seeds planted in a garden, like students, generate feelings of hope and expectation. They have locked in them the impetus to grow and thrive and become all that they are capable of being. I believe that students want to learn. It is their natural tendency . . . just like the seeds to grow. Each individual seedling requires different things to maximize growth. Some plants need more water, some like more shade, and some more sun. A good gardener works to provide for the needs of every seedling in the garden. In the same way, striving to meet the individual needs of each student is the real work of a teacher."

Leslie Carroll will be honored at the October Floyd County Board of Education meeting on October 6'h. She will be presented a $500.00 award provided by the Oglethorpe Power Corporation and a special plaque with Ms. Carroll's likeness, provided by C&S Trophies, will be added to the Teacher "Wall of Fame" in the Floyd County Schools' Board Room.