Mrs. Ruth Council, Dr. Vickie Burt, Mr. J. Norman Greene, Ms. Mabel Wolinski, Ms. Jane Bonner, Mrs. Janeen Josey, Mrs. Elaine Teffeteller, Ms. Kaye Meadows, Mrs. April Ward, Mrs. Cheryl Rice, Mr. Cody Moncrief are all members of a famed group of educators who have represented VCS as a finalist in the Georgia Teacher of the Year program. VCS is pleased to add another name to this phenomenal list of educators - Mrs. Natasha Berry, 3rd grade teacher at Sallas Mahone Elementary School! Mrs. Berry is the daughter of our very own, Dr. Janice Richardson, principal of Valdosta High School.
Mrs. Berry’s path to being a top 10 finalist has been very out of the ordinary. The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the Georgia Teacher of the Year program in 2019-2020. So for almost 18 months, Mrs. Berry had to sit in limbo not knowing if her application had been read or what the outcome of the judging process would be.
Fast forward to April 2021, we get the call from the Georgia Department of Education letting us know that she in fact was in that group considered the best of the best…the Top 10 finalists group for Georgia Teacher of the Year. It just so happened that we were meeting with the new group of school teachers of the year, so we told a little story to get Mrs. Berry to our meeting so that we could surprise her with the fantastic news. What she thought was a meeting for her to help explain the teacher of the year application process was actually a meeting to let her know that she was now #14 on this amazing list of teachers receiving one of the professions most prized accomplishments.
It is truly an honor to recognize Mrs. Natasha Berry. We would like to thank her for being able to roll with the punches through all of the abnormal procedures of being a top 10 finalist…zoom interviews, online presentations, virtual banquets. We are so very proud and thank you for never giving up on your passion of being an educator.