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Newton resident named Rockdale Teacher of the Year

Staff Photo: Erin Evans. Salem High School English teacher Lisa Boyd was congratulated with a standing ovation after Superintendent Samuel King announced she was this year's Teacher of the Year. She is surrounded by fellow educators Holly Foster, left, and Alisha Wheeler.

Staff Photo: Erin Evans. Salem High School English teacher Lisa Boyd was congratulated with a standing ovation after Superintendent Samuel King announced she was this year's Teacher of the Year. She is surrounded by fellow educators Holly Foster, left, and Alisha Wheeler.

CONYERS -- The Rockdale County teacher who said she has her students stretch beyond limits was recognized for her own above average work Tuesday night.

Newton County resident Lisa Boyd was all smiles when Rockdale County Public Schools Superintendent Sam King opened the envelope and announced her as the 2010-11 Teacher of the Year.

RCPS held its annual Teacher of the Year celebration before a full house at the Rockdale Career Academy.

Boyd, an English teacher at Salem High School, took the podium for remarks following King's announcement. The 12-year veteran educator described how she discovered her calling to teach high school students. Comparing the student as a worker and the teacher as a coach, Boyd said she moves her students beyond mediocrity.

The spark that she ignites in her students also motivates Boyd.

"I love the challenges that my students give me," Boyd told the Citizen shortly after the program. "Every year, I have a new group (of students) and I have to do something different because I need to reach them in a different way."

Boyd reflected on the estimated 16-hour days she puts in as a teacher and swim coach at Salem and how it felt to be recognized for hard work.

"It's very strange," Boyd said with a laugh. "Teaching is thankless oftentimes, so it's kind of overwhelming to be showered with baskets and piles of goodies."

In addition to the Teacher of the Year distinction, Boyd received gift cards, a gift basket and a paid three-day, two-night stay at the King and Prince Resort at St. Simon's Island.

Boyd said she will continue to teach with "passion, rigor and enthusiasm in the years ahead."