May 9, 2018
Prince Teachers Honored as 2017-2018 Educators of the Year
The mission statement of Prince Avenue Christian School is “to partner with Christian families to provide scripturally based discipleship while pursuing excellence in academics, fine arts, and athletics from a biblical worldview.” None of this mission would be possible without the highly qualified and extraordinarily talented, dedicated, and godly teachers that are hands-on with Prince students day in and day out.
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 5th Grade Teacher Gina Mayne and lower school Physical Education Teacher and Youth Athletic Director Coach Michael Palmer. Gina and Michael received a crystal vase and a generous donation by a friend of the school.
Gina is the wife of Bill, and they have two children in school at Prince, Reeves in pre-kindergarten and Harper in second grade. Gina earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Montevallo in Alabama in 2003 and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Georgia. After teaching for a few years and while expecting her first child, Gina opened a school supply store which was in business for four years, but Gina missed the classroom. In 2014, she was excited to join the faculty at Prince. Before joining the 5th-grade team, Gina worked as a paraprofessional in pre-kindergarten. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Gina also coaches the elementary cheer team.
Gina is described by her peers as a teacher who loves Jesus with all of her heart and strives for excellence in the classroom in order to honor Christ. One peer said, “Gina looks for ways to create extraordinary moments for students making school a memorable, positive experience.” Gina is also known for her sense of humor and positive attitude.
Gina explains that the best part of working at Prince Avenue is the ability to teach and share the most important aspect of her life, her relationship with Jesus. “It is not lost on me that working at Prince Avenue is a gift. Not only do I get to do what I love, but I work with the most amazing people, have the most supportive administration, and get to read and talk about Jesus every day.”
When asked about her hopes for her students and Prince Avenue, Gina explains, “I pray that our school would continue to be set apart. My hope is that people would see a difference in our students and staff because of how we love each other, bear one another’s burdens, and hold each other accountable for the sake of furthering the gospel.”
Michael Palmer is the husband of Jennifer who also works at Prince as the lower and middle school Administrative Assistant. The Palmers have three children in the school, Noah in first grade, Maddie in second grade, and senior Mary Grace who will soon graduate with the Class of 2018. Michael has a long history of working in Athletics at Prince Avenue even before he joined the faculty as the lower school Physical Education teacher. He began coaching the middle school girls basketball team in 2005, and after completing his associate's degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of North Georgia and his bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies at Piedmont College, Michael joined the faculty in a full-time capacity in 2015.
Michael is described by his peers as extremely hardworking, always willing to help others, and solution oriented. He is also seen as a self-starter who pays attention to details and preparation. One peer explained, “Michael genuinely loves his job and the students. He is the epitome of ‘choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life’.” Michael is known for looking for ways to motivate students and athletes and for developing students as leaders.
In addition to his duties as a teacher, Michael has supervised the lower school Geography Bee team. He coaches middle school and varsity Cross Country, middle school and varsity Girls Basketball, the Little Wolverines Running Club, varsity Girls Soccer, and oversees Prince Youth Athletics that include youth football, cheerleading, and basketball.
Although teaching sports is his passion, Michael says what he appreciates most about Prince Avenue is the relationships that he has throughout his work and responsibilities. “My wife works literally 100 feet away from my office, and I see all three of my kids daily. I have teachers in the lower school who are constantly praying for me and encouraging me every time I see them.” Michael describes the opportunity to work at Prince as priceless. “It seems almost unfair most days that I have a job that I love teaching kids that I love, and I get paid for it.”
When asked what his hopes and desires for Prince students are, Michael says, “To rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in everything. If students can learn to do these three things, they will be headed down a road that will give them the balance in life that they are searching for.”
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 Recognition Day ceremonies in May.
Gina Mayne and Michael Palmer