May 20, 2016
Teachers Honored as 2016 Educators of the Year
In the hallways and classrooms of Prince Avenue Christian School, one can hear and see evidence of sound education at work. The artwork and projects hung carefully on the walls, lower school students taking a turn on the smart board, the academic classroom abuzz with rigorous discussion, the science classroom in the midst of a challenging lab, and the musical tones of instruments warming up for band class all speak to the creativity, commitment, expertise, and diligence of the teachers at PACS.
PACS teachers are known for their commitment – first to the Lord and then to their students. They are known for beginning every parent meeting with prayer, staying late to assist students who need extra instruction, taking the time to encourage and pray with students who need reassurance, and attending games and special events that are meaningful to their students. In short, PACS teachers are special.
In the spirit of recognizing the commitment and dedication of the faculty at PACS, each year the school recognizes individual teachers as The Colossians 3:23 Educators of the Year, nominated by their peers as remarkable and doing “everything as unto the Lord”.
This year’s Educators of the Year are second grade teacher Dawn Crane, middle school science teacher Jenny Aldin, and band director Miles Adams. Each teacher received a crystal vase and a generous cash award donated by a friend of the school.
Dawn Crane has been a teacher at Prince Avenue since 2008. Dawn graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Prior to coming to Prince, she taught for seven years in Clarke County Schools. Dawn and her husband, Jep, have two daughters who attend PACS.
Dawn’s peers enthusiastically describe her as a teacher who is “clearly working with all her heart and for the Lord.” She is known for being conscientious about everything she does and for caring about the reputation of the school. Dawn is described as very gentle and patient with her students, reaching out to parents, and patiently helping them find the best solutions for their children. Ultimately, Dawn is admired by her colleagues for her faithfulness, character, and pursuit of excellence.
Dawn, having been educated in a Christian school herself, understands the value of a quality education in a Godly atmosphere. “I am passionate about teaching students not only academics, but also Jesus’ love for them. It is my desire and hope that as I teach my students of God’s love, they will grow in their relationship with Him and share God’s Word with others.”
Jenny Aldin has also been teaching at Prince since 2008. Jenny received her BSED in Middle School Science/Language Arts from UGA. She taught two years in public school before staying home with her four children. During the time at home, she homeschooled her children and taught science for a homeschool co-op. Jenny’s husband, Don, is the pastor of Resurrection Presbyterian Church, so Jenny has the unique opportunity to be both teacher and pastor’s wife in the Athens community – something she describes as “seeing God building His Kingdom right before our eyes.” The Aldins currently have two children at PACS, while the oldest two recently graduated from the school.
By her colleagues, Jenny is seen as a woman who lives a life of integrity and one who is quick to share a smile and encouragement with her fellow teachers. She is known for taking her role as an educator very seriously and providing quality, challenging instruction that engages students while using Biblical integration to point to God as the creator and author of life. Described as a life-long learner, Jenny adapts her lessons to the benefit of her students, allowing them to learn through hands-on activities, as well as fun and interesting class discussions. Other teachers often look to Jenny for wisdom and counsel in dealing with difficult situations. One peer said, “She exudes grace and wisdom.”
When asked what she values most about teaching at Prince, Jenny said, “I appreciate having the opportunity to combine my love for the Lord with my love for science. To work in an environment where I can point all of my students to our creator is of tremendous value to me.” Jenny goes on to say that teaching her students to think critically for God’s glory is the best part of her job. It is Jenny’s hope that her students will be prepared academically, but more importantly, spiritually. “I pray that they will live as confident believers in our community and beyond – that they not be afraid of the world, but excited to see how God is at work around them.”
Miles Adams came to Prince Avenue as Band Director in 2013. Miles has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Berry College, a Master’s Degree in Music Education from UGA, and an Educational Specialist Degree from UGA. Previously, he served for 30 years as the Band Director at Jackson County High School. During that time, he also taught in the elementary and middle schools in that county. Miles also served for 12 years as the Fine Arts Coordinator for Jackson County Schools.
Miles is described by his colleagues as an exceptional talent, with expertise in his field. He is credited with building the PACS band program far beyond expectations, requiring the school to expand its facilities to meet the increasing number of students. Miles regularly collaborates with his wife, Helen, to enhance instruction time for his students, as she often assists him in the band room and at concerts. He is gifted in developing God-given abilities in students both individually and corporately, resulting in impressive performances that garner praise from audiences locally as well as across the state. Miles is very well respected by both his peers and his students and is known as a man of deep fait,h as evidenced by his character, integrity, patience, and love for others.
Miles expresses that he is thankful for the privilege of working with wonderful Christian colleagues who highly value individual students, but is especially grateful for the opportunity to help PACS students discover their musical gifts and develop them for God’s glory. “It is my hope that our band students continue to use their musical gifts after they leave Prince to enrich their lives and the lives of their families. I hope to see them contribute to their church and community and glorify our Savior.”
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 left to right: 2nd Grade Teacher – Dawn Crane, Middle School Science Teacher – Jenny Aldin, Head of School – Seth Hathaway, and Band Director – Miles Adams