Much to his surprise, Chris Jones of Northside Elementary School is now the 2011 Teacher of the Year for Dougherty County.
"I'm just humbled really to have this honor to even be in the presence of these accomplished individuals," says Jones.
During his acceptance speech at the Teacher of the Year Banquet Tuesday night, Jones says he is humbled and thanks the school system and Northside Elementary.
Before being announced the winner, his students said his hands on lessons make it fun and easy to learn. Jones says repetition and hands on learning make the students and the lessons come to life, and in return it helps the students do better in class.
With the name Teacher of the Year 2011, Jones also received a $1,000 check and a customized ring for the school system.
Beyond awards and winning or losing, the eight finalists say being Teacher of the Year is about more than just the individual: It's about the students.
"It's not about me honestly speaking. It's just a reflection of the student body we have in the Dougherty County School System," says Jones.
"You're a good teacher, you're able to explain and get students to understand exactly what they're doing in the classroom. To be able to see students succeed is a great honor," says 2011 Teacher of the Year Finalist Leslie Wilks.
Afterall, it was teachers that inspired them to become teachers as well.
"My elementary school teachers: I knew from them that I was going to be a teacher. My third grade teacher Ms. Hall, my fourth grade teacher Ms. Williams and my fifth grade teacher," says 2011 Teacher of the Year Finalist Gloria Isaac.