Johnson named THS Teacher of the Year

Apr. 18—THOMASVILLE — Mathematics teacher Elaina Johnson has always had a passion for teaching but was initially discouraged from pursuing a job in the education field.

She attended the University of Georgia to pursue a degree in statistics, but her underlying passion for teaching remained.

She pursued that passion and now she has been named the 2024-25 Teacher of the Year for Thomasville High School, following a nomination from her peers.

Teaching ninth through 12th grade math, Johnson's favorite part of the job is interacting with her students and getting to know them.

"I love getting to know their personalities and building a relationship with them," she said. "They are so much fun, and I love them."

Johnson has developed a personal relationship with her students through her involvement in activities outside the classroom.

This past year, Johnson served as the varsity cheerleading and gymnastics coach, coordinated prom, and headed up the Mathletes as well as one of the FCA huddle groups.

Her involvement was inspiring to her fellow teachers, leading to her nomination.

"I was really excited and honored," she said. "It felt good that my peers thought I was deserving of this."

For Johnson, the activities outside the classroom are enjoyable and she hopes her fellow educators will seize available opportunities to sponsor clubs and coach.

"It's so much fun to coach or sponsor clubs and do things with the kids outside the classroom when we can have fun together in a different environment," she said. "I absolutely think it has helped me build a stronger relationship with my students."

Johnson reflected on her time as an FCA Huddle leader, sharing that during the year she got to know the kids and learn their interests outside of the classroom.

Her students grew excited when she was announced as Teacher of the Year.

"They were so sweet," she said. "They came in and brought me flowers and were so excited."

Johnson said she wouldn't have reached this point in her career without the help of her co-workers.

"I've had the best support system at my school," she said. "I could not do anything without my teacher friends. I work with great people."

Through the support of her co-workers, Johnson is pursuing a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Valdosta State University and she said she looks forward to seeing where it will take her.

Johnson will now compete for District Teacher of the Year, which will be announced at a later board of education meeting.