'Driven to succeed'
Adams named Newton Teacher of the Year

COVINGTON - Eastside High School Latin and Greek teacher Eric Adams has a lot of people to thank for being named Newton County's 2008 Teacher of the Year - all of his students, past and present.

"I have so many people I could thank - from my high school administrators to my family," he said. "But I'm most appreciative to represent my students. They're the ones who really make me love my job."

Adams was named Newton County School System's 2008 Teacher of the Year in a ceremony Thursday afternoon at Newton High School.

Earlier this semester, he was chosen as Eastside High School's Teacher of the Year and later chosen as a top three candidate for the county, along with Livingston Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Pamela Akin and Fairview Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Tracey McCartney.

After the top three candidates were chosen, six county judges observed their classrooms and scored the candidates based on the visit, interviews and the candidates' essays.

"I believe teachers must be driven - driven to succeed, driven to improve," reads Adams' essay. "A teacher must be scholarly ... every day, every minute. ... Teaching is my life."

NCSS Superintendent Steven Whatley is proud of each teacher of the year nominee.

"We realize teaching is a very demanding profession," he said at the ceremony. "We're glad you're here in the Newton County schools."

Along with the title of Teacher of the Year, Adams also received a crystal vase, three months free rental of a Ford Mustang convertible from Covington Ford, a Teacher of the Year ring from Herrf-Jones and $1,000 cash.

Next, Adams will apply for the state Teacher of the Year. Each Georgia county's Teacher of the Year must apply with the state Department of Education by Dec. 3. The 10 state finalists will be announced in February.

"I'm sure he will represent us very well," said Almond Turner, vice chair of the Newton County Board of Education, about Adams at the ceremony.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.