2007 Teacher of the Year
Leigha Burnham is Floyd County Schools "2007 Teacher of the Year"

Leigha BurnhamLeigha Burnham, an English and drama teacher at Armuchee High School , was named the 2007 Floyd County Schools "Teacher of the Year" at the October 10, 2006 meeting of the Floyd County Board of Education. Mrs. Burnham teaches a variety of English courses from Advanced Grammar to Literature. She also teaches Advanced Placement courses for students seeking to earn college credit while in high school. Mrs. Burnham approaches each day with excitement and energy as she seeks to infuse her love of drama into her classroom. "Many students will say that English is not their favorite subject," Burnham said. "I take it as my personal challenge to change their mind about that by injecting drama, excitement and just my passion for the topic into what we are learning each day." 

Leigha Burnham was selected as the top teacher from three finalists for the system honor. The three finalists were: Alison Burkhalter, a math teacher at Pepperell Middle School , Chesley Chambers, the metals instructor at Floyd County Technical High , and Burnham. The finalists were selected by a review committee from the Northwest Georgia Regional Educational Service Agency (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. 

Mrs. Burnham was selected as "Teacher of the Year" by a panel of retired educators from the Rome/Floyd Retired Teachers Association. The three finalists participated in personal interviews and classroom observations as a part of the selection process. Mrs. Burnham received $500.00, a plaque for her classroom, and a "Teacher of the Year" commemorative apple from the Northwest Georgia Credit Union. Each finalist also received $100.00 from Northwest Georgia Credit Union. 

Leigha Burnham has been teaching for 7 years. She took a five year break from teaching to spend with her young children before returning to the classroom at Armuchee High two years ago. Mrs. Burnham has found that challenging her students and valuing their viewpoints creates a dynamic classroom atmosphere. "I don't want to spoon feed them and tell them my opinions, I want to hear their opinions and I want them to be able to express themselves in class and in writing." She gives a writing assignment each Friday and the students actually look forward to writing essays. "I know it sounds like it would not be a lot of fun but I really like writing the essays, commented Kursten Hedgis, a senior at Armuchee. "By writing the essays we really have to sit down and think out how we feel about the piece of literature we are studying." 

Leigha Burnham will now represent the Floyd County School System in the Georgia Teacher of the Year program. The Georgia "Teacher of the Year" will be announced by the Georgia Department of Education in the spring. 

Teachers honored as individual school "Teachers of the Year" at the October meeting were: Susan Carter, Alto Park Elementary; Avis Snow, Armuchee Elementary; Leigha Burnham, Armuchee High; Darlene Chumley, Armuchee Middle; Autumn Nicole Brown, Cave Spring Elementary; Angela Ritchie, Coosa High; Kimberly Duhamel, Coosa Middle; Roger Dewey, Floyd County Education Center; Chesley Chambers, Floyd County Technical High; William Mobley, Garden Lakes Elementary; Christi Mooney, Glenwood Primary; Cynthia Louise Bricker, Johnson Elementary; Michelle Clay, McHenry Primary; Carol Mitchell, Midway Primary; Lisa Miller, Model Elementary; Al Donahue, Model High; Scott Crabbe, Model Middle; Kathryn Pence, Pepperell Primary; April Fuller, Pepperell Elementary; Jeffrey Kirk, Pepperell High; and Alison Burkhalter, Pepperell Middle.