Do you remember that special teacher when you were in school? They explained something, or got you excited about learning. There's a teacher like that in Screven County. Middle school teacher Chase Puckett, Georgia's Teacher of the Year.
For student Ashley Mims, it's as good as knowing the president. "It is so cool because he really deserves it," she said. "He's a great teacher he deserves Teacher of the Year."
Puckett got the word Friday night at a banquet in Atlanta. "I think it's more than just for me and the school system," he said. "It's our school and for rural Georgia and south Georgia."
He's has taught at Screven County Middle School since 1998. During that time, he's helped coordinate the Walk Through Time, a hands-on, living lesson that combines history, writing, and speaking. He's now preparing students to represent fictitious planets in a science fiction version of the United Nations.
"He is so very creative, so very professional," said superintendent Dr. Whit Meyers. "Kids love him. They're constantly engaged in instruction."
Starting this summer, Puckett will travel the state talking to teachers and lawmakers about education excellence in Georgia. That means a year out of the classroom. "Spending a year without students in front of me is going to be a big change, a big challenge," he said. "I'm looking forward to the adventure of traveling around the state."
During his sabbatical, they're giving Puckett his choice of a Ford car, truck, or sport utility to travel over the next year.
Ashley Mims and other students are just glad they don't have to face eighth grade again next year, without Mr. Puckett.