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A Peak honor
Brooklet elementary educator named Bulloch Teacher of the Year
Peak Teacher of Year Web
Tanita Peak, a fourth grade teacher at Brooklet Elementary School,was named 2010 Bulloch County Teacher of the Year. Peak is shown in her classroom after superintendent Lewis Holloway surprised her with the award. - photo by HAYLEY GREENE/special
    Tanita Peak, a fourth grade teacher at Brooklet Elementary School, was named Friday the 2010 Bulloch County School System’s Teacher of the Year. Peak learned of her selection Friday morning when Superintendent Lewis Holloway and administrators surprised her in her classroom.  
    “We are thrilled by her selection and feel she will represent our school system well,” said Marlin Baker, Brooklet’s principal.
    Peak was selected from 16 nominees submitted by each school and the district’s Performance Learning Center. The nominees were judged by a group of community leaders from the Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee.  The judges did not know the teachers’ names, but reviewed them objectively based on the nominees’ teacher certifications, commitment to the teaching field, evidence of respect from students, parents and peers, and their activities in the school and community.  
    “This honor validates the hard work that I and all the other nominees and teachers do everyday,” Peak said.
    In her application Peak credited her mother with giving her the desire to teach.  
    "My mother is the motivating factor that has molded me over the years to become the teacher I am today," she said.
    As a working mother of five, Peak’s mom made the decision to go to college to become a teacher.
    "At that moment, she became my idol," Peak said. "It was a happy time for me when she graduated from Valdosta State.”
    Peak was in sixth grade and didn’t fully comprehend how trying it must have been for her mother to juggle all those responsibilities until she entered college to become a teacher herself. Peak feels she and her mother share a unique bond since they are both teachers.
    Peak prides herself in staying abreast of current issues and trends in education. She has embraced the school system’s new SmartBoard technology and believes it is one of the best technologies ever created for education. Well respected by her fellow teachers and administrators, she serves as a lead teacher for the fourth grade, allowing her to be a liaison with administrators and have a voice on school issues. She also has been a mentor to new fourth grade teachers and a clinical supervisor to Georgia Southern student teachers
    Peak has helped forge a partnership between her school and the community by becoming an active volunteer with Relay for Life, a cause dear to her heart since losing her best friend to breast cancer in 2005. Peak has served as BES’ team captain and helped the school raise more than $25,000 for the event over the past five years.
    Peak now goes on to compete at the state level teacher of the year competition with educators selected from Georgia’s school districts. A panel of educators will select 10 finalists and conduct site visits and interviews with the final candidates in March. Their selection will be revealed at a special luncheon in Atlanta in May. Should Peak be selected as Georgia’s Teacher of the Year, she would begin serving as a traveling ambassador for public education in June, and be our state’s nominee for the 201l National Teacher of the Year.
    Peak is a 2002 graduate of Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in education. She also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from GSU and a specialist’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Lincoln Memorial University. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and a member of both the Georgia Association of Educators and the National Education Association. She has been a teacher at Brooklet Elementary School since 2004.
    Peak succeeds 2009 Teacher of the Year Tiffany Todd of Southeast Bulloch High School. Todd went on to be a top-ten finalist in the state competition. Teachers of the Year from each school that were submitted to the system-level competition were the following:

DeeDee Bennett    Julia P Bryant Elementary School
Sandra Adams        Langston Chapel Elementary School
Niki Brown        Mattie Lively Elementary School
Michele Hargrove    Mill Creek Elementary School
Janice Wilbanks    Nevils Elementary School
Alecia Wiggins    Portal Elementary School
Carlee Fuller        Sallie Zetterower Elementary School
Sherry Conner        Stilson Elementary School
Gwendolyn Harvey    Langston Chapel Middle School
Kelly Spence        Portal Middle/High School
Cindy Mott        Southeast Bulloch Middle School
Beth Lamb        William James Middle School
Joni Mock        Southeast Bulloch High School
Chad Prosser        Statesboro High School
Marsha Arnett        Performance Learning Center
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