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Sallie Z teacher carries on tradition
Mother taught at Statesboro High
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Starr Callaway Anderson, center, sits with two generations of students she has taught at Sallie Zetterower Elementary - David Brown, left, and his son Braylan Brown, right. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
      In some classrooms in the Bulloch County public schools, there is a feeling of permanence. That was, and is, particularly true in the case of the "Callaway" classrooms. Starr Callaway Anderson grew up watching her mother Jo Callaway teach at the old Statesboro High School for some 30 years.
       Anderson decided that she would be a teacher, too. She attended Sallie Zetterower Elementary, Grady Junior High, and Statesboro. After graduating from Georgia Southern College, she was hired by then Sallie Z principal Earl Reynolds, and began her teaching career in 1978.
       Anderson explained why she didn't follow in her mother's footsteps and teach at Statesboro High:
       "First Grade is the foundation year. Children have to learn so much. It is essential to help the child develop a positive attitude towards school at this time."
       A mother of two daughters, Callie, 21, and Brittany, 19, she continued, "I believe it is the greatest compliment when parents allow you to teach their children. Therefore, I always try to treat them just like I do my own children. I try to always use a calm approach."
       Principal Todd Williford, now in his eighth year at Sallie Z, is impressed with Anderson's teaching.
       "She is one of the most caring teachers I've ever known," Williford said. "Her open, warm, and loving manner allows her to build an incredible bond with her children. Her room is such a warm and inviting place, the kids always feel free to be themselves."
       One of Anderson's former students wrote Williford a letter praising her. It told of how one day "Ms. Anderson saw that I was upset. When she learned it was because my mother was out of town, and my dad hadn't known how to ‘do' my hair, she stopped what she was doing so that she could brush and ‘put up' my hair just like my mom always did."
       Because of this and other acts of kindness by Anderson, the letter writer informed Williford that she had decided to become a teacher herself. Her goal: extend to her future students some of the wisdom and love that Ms. Anderson had shown her.
       In fact, a number of the teachers now working in Bulloch County's schools were former students of Mrs. Anderson. One of them, David Brown, has taught Fifth Grade Science and Social Studies at Sallie Z. for five years.
       Brown remembers very clearly the day Anderson announced she was getting married. He, like most of the children in her class, was devastated.
       Brown's son Braylan is a fifth-grader at Sallie Z. He also was in Anderson's first grade. Whenever Brown would say that Mrs. Anderson "was nice," or "was sweet," or "was kind," Braylan Brown would correct his father, saying: "She still is, dad, she still is
       According to Braylan Brown, "I always wanted to be picked to answer her questions, or be selected to go do something for her, because she was so special. When it came to going to Second Grade, I really didn't want to go."

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