May 18, 2015
Teachers Honored as Educators of the Year
Each and every day, the teachers at Prince Avenue Christian School exemplify the Wolverine Way by honoring God, pursuing excellence, and discipling students. Even in an atmosphere where such commitment is the norm, there are some teachers who stay a little longer, work a little harder, and display a level of dedication that is to be commended as extra special. Each year at PACS, these teachers are recognized as “Colossians 3:23 Educators of the Year” and are considered the “Best of the Best” in educating the next generation of leaders at Prince Avenue Christian School.
This year’s Prince Educators of the Year are Pre-Kindergarten teacher Lisa Peacock, Middle School English teacher Julie Evans, and High School History teacher Katie Gamble. These teachers were nominated by their peers as remarkable and doing “everything as unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). They each received a crystal vase and $3,000 generously donated by a friend of the school.
Lisa Peacock has been a teacher for 24 years. She previously taught at Prince Avenue, then spent time teaching at Hull Sanford Elementary and returned to PACS in 2013. As a Pre-Kindergarten teacher, Lisa is the first person many new families entering the school will meet, and for the teacher for most of these four year olds. Lisa takes this responsibility very seriously and is committed to making sure that a child’s first year at Prince Avenue Christian School is a great success.
One nominator underscores this fact by saying, “What makes Lisa an incredible teacher is her servant’s heart and the way she truly invests in each of her students. The love and compassion she shows every one of her students, from kissing a boo-boo and comforting a child whose ride might be late to celebrating a student who has just lost her first tooth or loving on a child who for the first time wrote his name correctly, Lisa makes each of her students feel special. Parents know that Lisa will treat each student as if he or she were one of her own.”
Lisa is also known among her peers as a talented professional whose commitment to excellence is evident in the hours that she spends above and beyond expectation and her commitment to continue her education. One nominator describes Lisa as “a life-long learner, never satisfied with what she already knows in her profession, constantly seeking new ideas, concepts and teaching strategies to bring into her classroom. Another nominator explains, “Lisa Peacock has a work ethic unlike any other educator I have ever known. She not only completes her work, she sets a standard for herself that is above and beyond anything that would ever be expected of her by a co-worker, parent, or administrator. She puts her whole heart into her work.”
When asked about her work at PACS, Lisa explains that she places great value in the covenant relationship that teachers have with PACS families and the local church. “This relationship is remarkably different from other school scenarios and makes a difference in how we meet the needs of the whole child. Parents come alongside of us in this effort to raise children as Timothy says, who are ‘competent and equipped for every good work.’”
The PACS Middle School Educator of the Year is Julie Evans. A PACS parent first, Julie joined the school faculty in 2008. She is known for her personal charisma and spirited teaching. One nominator describes Julie as an “enthusiastic and passionate teacher who brings excellence to the classroom. Julie is highly motivated, has high expectations for herself and her students, and continually looks for ways to do things better or teach in ways that yield a better understanding.”
Another quality mentioned by Julie’s peers is her dedication to her students. “Julie’s love for her students is a reflection of the love she has for her own children. She is not just educating students; she is preparing students to change the world for God’s glory.”
Julie is a leader among other teachers at PACS taking on additional responsibilities such as the Excellence in Writing program, heading up the National Junior Honor Society on campus, and planning the 6th grade field trip to Savannah each year. “Her dedication to every aspect of PACS without much recognition truly makes her ‘the Best of the Best.’”
When asked about her expectations for students at PACS, Julie says, “My hope is that students will learn the sufficiency of Christ’s salvation and the value and infallibility of His word. I want them to know that they can stand on His promises in good and bad times throughout their lives.”
Katie Gamble was enthusiastically nominated by her peers as the High School Educator of the Year. One nominator asserted, “I can honestly say that it surprises me Katie has not received the honor prior to this school year. “
Katie came to Prince Avenue in the Fall of 2011 after graduating from UGA. Katie is known for her commitment to excellence and personal integrity that translates to the classroom as a high standards combined with quality learning. “Her students know her, respect her, and work hard to meet her expectations; however, it is widely known that the delivery of her content will be in an engaging and fun environment.”
In addition to excellence in the classroom, Katie is fully committed to the community of Prince Avenue. She is willing to take on extra commitments such as Academic Team, Tennis Team, Swim Team, Student Government, National Honor Society, and Class Advisor. She is often seen at extra-curricular events and is an avid supporter of educational outings, heading up trips to destinations such as Atlanta and Charleston.
One nominator summarizes Katie’s unique talent when she wrote, “Katie Gamble was born to teach. She truly possesses the God-given talent to teach and share her knowledge of history with her students. She is always putting the needs of her students and their learning above her own. She makes sure they know that she cares about more than just their knowledge of history but also their relationship with Christ.”
Katie shares openly her hopes for her students. “I hope and pray that the Lord uses Prince students to change the world for His glory, showing them His faithfulness in all areas. I pray that our students are able to enter a variety of areas after graduation to impact those around them, using the knowledge, skills, and virtues that they learned in their time at Prince. “
The Colossians 3:23 Educators of the Year program began in 2007 and is supported through the funding of an anonymous donor. Each recipient is recognized at the school’s Honors Day ceremonies in May.
Pictured with Head of School Danny Howell are Educators of the Year Katie Gamble, Lisa Peacock, and Julie Evans.