Local Teacher Deployed Over a Year

Principal Walker-Seier's button.
Principal Walker-Seier's button.

The violence has escalated in the past week in Iraq. Now many are wondering if soldiers with the Third Infantry Division might be redeployed sooner. Third ID media affairs spokesman Lt. Col. Clifford Kent says, as of right now, the troops do not have any new orders.

The soldiers do have a warning order, meaning the troops will have to be ready to deploy back to the Middle East between November of this year and the following February. "Assuming nothing else changes with our mission or in the world which could create another mission for us, we have to focus on ready to deploy for Operation Iraqi Freedom between that window," he said.

And while the President says major battles are over, there are thousands of military personnel still working for peace in the Middle East. Many of those troops are part of the Georgia National Guard and have been stationed there for more than a year.

One of those Reservists is a teacher from Bradwell Institute, Michael Goodson. WTOC visited the school today and spoke with the principal about what it's like to have one of their major assets away for this long. He is greatly missed by the students and staff. Ironically, the man who is making the current events is the one who used to broadcast them to the students on a weekly basis.

Principal Joni Walker-Seier keeps Goodson close to her heart, wearing a button with his picture on her shirt. "He's been gone since last year, last February I believe," she told us.

Goodson is a member of the National Guard and it's hard not to notice that he's gone. "He was in charge of Tiger Television, a group of students who produce Tiger TV for homeroom time," said Walker-Seier. "They did things on school rules, things that were happening around school and current events."

So now the studio which used to broadcast the current events is empty, and Tiger TV is out of business until further notice,  because the teacher is part of the events the students used to report. "It was really kind of sad," said Walker-Seier. "We didn't know how long he was going to be gone we had hopes he was going to be back from the school year."

But now they are hoping he will be back in time for next year. "We'll have some really current events to share then," Walker-Seier said.

Goodson shares some of his events through email, at least every other week, always asking about his students. "He wants to know how they're doing, how's the program going, is everything going as planned," said Walker-Seier. "He's anxious to get back"

And his students all say they are anxious to pick up their cameras again and get him back. "He had a tight reign, but everyone loved him regardless," said Walker-Seier.

As of right now, they do expect Goodson will be back sometime this summer, but nothing is definite.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com