By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Teachers QUEST pays off
No bad students for Langston Chapel Middle educator
Unsung Langston
Patti Ward, left, is the QUEST teacher at Langston Chapel Middle School. She is shown with principal Elizabeth Williams. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    (Note: The following is part of a weekly series of stories about some “Unsung Heroes” in the Bulloch County school system.)

    Every public school has students with all kinds of abilities, but few teachers have the job of teaching the kids at both ends of the spectrum. Such is the challenge of Patti Ward, the Quest (Quality and Unique Experiences in Study and Thought) teacher at Langston Chapel Middle School.
    In her first year at Langston Chapel, she stays busy. As the school day begins, she oversees the operation of the school store and helps with morning announcements. Then, her QUEST classes begin.
    Ward said: “As a QUEST teacher I get to work with students from every class at all three grade levels, instead of spending all of my time with one class or in one grade. That’s the kind of challenge I like.”
    She has four QUEST classes this year: two 6th-grade, one 7th-grade, and one 8th-grade. The 6th graders are studying animal habitats, the 7th graders are studying politics, and the 8th graders are studying the stock market. Each grade level will take a field trip in the spring: Golden Isles (6th); Washington, D.C. (7th); and New York City (8th).
    Ward has taught school for 11 years. Before coming to Langston Chapel, she taught for five years each at William James and Southeast Bulloch Middle School. In fact, Langston Chapel principal Elizabeth Williams and Ward met while she was teaching, and Ward student teaching, at Southeast Bulloch High School.
    Once she became principal, Williams began looking for fellow teachers who she believed “had what it took.”
    Hearing that Kathy Tucker, the former QUEST teacher at Langston Chapel, was retiring, Williams informed Ward the position was open. She applied for the position and was hired.
    Almost immediately after Ward arrived, Williams learned the school was losing some students in the QUEST program.
    “My first thought was to give her some administrative duties,” Williams said.
    But Ward asked Williams if she could tutor the school’s ‘At Risk” youth instead. Williams recounted how “Ward pointed out that most of them could not stay after school for individual tutoring, as they had no way to get home. So, she said, the only way we could really help them was to offer this assistance during regular school hours.”
    Ward has developed individual academic plans for each student, and spends up to 45 minutes each afternoon helping struggling students using Compass Odyssey (which covers all subjects) and Fast Forward (a Reading intervention program).
    Ward has a B.A., M.A, and an EdS (Ed. Spec.) in Education from Georgia Southern University.
    Williams declared: “Staff members are always telling me that Patti is everywhere, helping everybody do everything. She never tells anybody no, no matter how busy she already is. What makes her so special is that whenever anyone tries to give her the credit, she immediately tries to minimize her role in the affair, as if it was nothing. I knew without a doubt that my school would be blessed if I could get her to come here.”
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter