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Porterdale teacher wins Georgia Power grant

COVINGTON -- Katie O'Shea, a fourth-grade teacher at Porterdale Elementary School, was recently awarded a $1,000 New Teacher Assistant Grant from Georgia Power.

Georgia Power recognizes outstanding first-year teachers with grants to provide teachers with funds to purchase classroom supplies. Winning public school teachers are all graduates of state-approved teaching programs located at Georgia's public four-year colleges and universities.

The winners receive a $1,000 grant, which they can use to purchase materials and supplies for their classrooms.

"I plan on buying supplies for more small-group centers and science-based materials for my students, " said O'Shea. "I have always wanted to be a teacher but it wasn't until I was coaching swim team that I realized how many different 'light bulbs' I was taking part in lighting up. I realized that I am making a difference in children's lives and why not make it a career. I also realized through school that not only am I making a difference in these children's lives but they are making a great impact on mine as well."

O'Shea, a recent graduate of Georgia College and State University, was one of only 44 new teachers awarded a teaching grant this year.

Georgia Power has been awarding grants to new teachers since 2004. Candidates for the grants are submitted by the deans of the state's public teacher colleges. These institutions are asked to recommend up to 10 candidates, five men and five women.

A committee that includes the executive directors of education-related organizations and Georgia Power representatives selects the winners. Candidates must be in the top 25 percent of their class academically, possess an aptitude for teaching, and be recommended by education faculty members. Two-hundred new teacher grants have been awarded across the state of Georgia since 2004.

"I am proud to have Ms. O'Shea as a member of our Porterdale staff," said Lizzella Dodson, principal of Porterdale Elementary. "She brings to our staff much knowledge, enthusiasm, professionalism, dedication, an open mind, creative ideas and a willingness to share her ideas with others. Ms. O'Shea is a top notch educator who truly cares about her students and is indeed deserving of the coveted grant awarded to her."