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Alumni

Distinguished Alumni News

Alumna Named 2014 National Distinguished Principal.  College of Education alumna Dr. Julie Raschen was named as Georgia’s 2014 National Distinguished Principal earlier this month. She is principal of Brooks Elementary School. Raschen is a 1992 graduate with a B.S.Ed. in Early Childhood Education. The award is made through the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the U.S. Department of Education. Raschen was chosen by GAESP as the distinguished principal out of more than 1,300 elementary school principals throughout the state. In November, she will travel to Washington, D.C., where she will meet with the 49 principals recognized as distinguished principals. While in D.C., she will also be officially recognized as Georgia’s 2014 National Distinguished Principal by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Two COE doctoral alumni have been named Georgia’s 2013 National Distinguished principals through the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). This year’s Georgia winners are Jesse Davis, principal of Feagin Mill Middle School in Houston County and Amy Duke, principal of Springdale Elementary School in Bibb County.  See the COE News page for the full story.Georgia Power has announced the two Georgia Southern University recipients of the 2013 New Teacher Assistance Grants Program. They are William Basby now teaching at Bleckley County High School and Callie Boatright now teaching at Tattnall County High. The two recipients are both 2012-2013 graduates of COE’s special education program. Georgia Power recognizes outstanding first-year teachers through this grant program which provides teachers $1,000 to purchase classroom supplies. Jemelleh Coes (B.S.Ed. 2008, M.Ed. 2010), a Special Education English Language Arts and Reading teacher from Langston Chapel Middle School in Statesboro, was named the 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year. As Georgia Teacher of the Year, Ms. Coes will serve as an advocate for public education in Georgia. See full story here.COE alumna, Linsey Strickland McEntee, a fifth grade teacher at Beulah Elementary School, has been named the Douglas County Teacher of the Year. McEntee received her undergraduate degree in 2008 from COE with a degree in early childhood education. See full story here.COE alumna, Jemelleh Nurse Coes (B.S.Ed. 2008, M.Ed. 2010) was named the 2014 Bulloch County Schools Teacher of the Year. Coes is a fifth-year teacher at Langston Chapel Middle School in Statesboro. Dr. Debbie Rodriquez, COE alumna and principal of Taylors Creek Elementary School in Liberty County, GA, has been named the 2012 National Distinguished Principal for the state by the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the U.S. Department of Education. Rodriguez has served as principal of Taylors Creek for 15 years. Under her leadership, the school was selected as a “model” school by the Georgia Partnership of Excellence in Education. Taylors Creek has also been named as a Distinguished Title 1 School for the past nine years. Rodriguez earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Georgia Southern and her doctorate from the University of Sarasota.

COE alumnus J. Edward (Eddie) Pollard, Jr. (B.S.Ed. 1974) was named a 2011 National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Pollard is principal at Tyrone Elementary School, Tyrone, Georgia.

Sheila Garvin Hoynes (B.S.Ed. ’71) was recognized as Alumna of the Year for the College of Education, at the Georgia Southern Alumni Awards Dinner on April 2, 2011. Ms. Hoynes’ commitment to passionate leadership and stewardship of the profession distinguishes her as an outstanding COE graduate. Hoynes, now retired, was a certified first grade teacher for thirty years. She is a member and officer in the international honorary organization of women educators Alpha Delta Kappa, and she helped organize the Rockdale County chapter of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE). Hoynes is a life member of Georgia Southern University’s Alumni Association and has been a member and officer on the Association’s board of directors. Her service to Georgia Southern also includes being a charter member of the College of Education Board of Advisors.

March 2011, COE alumna Bobbi Lyn Moreno was named the Foreign Language Association of Georgia’s Teacher of the Year for 2011. Ms. Moreno is a Spanish teacher at Southeast Bulloch High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish education, master’s in spanish education, and Ed.S. in teaching and learning with a Spanish emphasis, at Georgia Southern.

Feb. 2010, COE alumnus Jeff Johnson was selected as the Siemens National AP Teacher of the Year. Johnson received his biology degree and master’s in education from Georgia Southern. He is an AP physics teacher at Hoover High School in Hoover, Ala.

COE alumna Pam Williams has been named the 2011 Georgia Teacher of the Year. Ms. Williams, an economics teacher from Appling County High School, earned her master’s and specialist degrees from Georgia Southern University.

COE alumna Cathy G. Powell, NBCT, was recently honored with a 2009 Outstanding Social Studies Educator Award by the Georgia Council for Social Studies. The award ceremony was held during the National Council for the Social Studies conference in Atlanta in November 2009. Ms. Powell teaches at Southeast Bulloch High School.

COE alumna Patia Rountree was a 2009 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The award is presented annually to the best pre-college-level science and math teachers from across the country. Winners of the Award receive $10,000 awards from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. Dr. Rountree teaches at Southeast Bulloch Middle School.

COE alumna Ashley Crosby is the 2008 Georgia Power New Teacher Assistance Grant award winner from Georgia Southern. Ashley graduated in Fall 2007 as a secondary education chemistry major and now teaches chemistry at Statesboro High School.

COE alumna Jan Brown Anderson was recently presented with the National Historic Preservation Medal by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), for her preservation of Oak Grove School, one of Georgia’s few remaining one-room schools.

COE alumna Dr. Molly Howard was named the 2008 Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and Metlife.

Dr. Martha Tootle Cain Selected as 2013 Alumni of the Year
Alumna and former Georgia Southern professor Dr. Martha Tootle Cain is the 2013 COE Alumni Award recipient. Dr. Cain graduated in 1950 from what was then Georgia Teachers College, one of 115 students in the graduating class. During her undergraduate studies, Dr. Cain was mentored by Professor William S. Hanner and worked as Hanner’s lab assistant. After receiving her master’s and doctoral degrees, Dr. Cain returned to her alma mater in 1963 and began a teaching career in chemistry that lasted until 1988. Dr. Cain and her late husband, Lee, established the Lee C. and Martha Tootle Cain Science Education Scholarship to enrich the educational experiences of students majoring in K-12 science education.

Sheila Garvin Hoynes Receives 2011 Alumni Award
Sheila Garvin Hoynes (B.S.Ed. ’71) was recognized as Alumna of the Year for the College of Education, at the Georgia Southern Alumni Awards Dinner on April 2, 2011. Ms. Hoynes’ commitment to passionate leadership and stewardship of the profession distinguishes her as an outstanding COE graduate. Hoynes, now retired, was a certified first grade teacher for thirty years. She is a member and officer in the international honorary organization of women educators Alpha Delta Kappa, and she helped organize the Rockdale County chapter of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE). Hoynes is a life member of Georgia Southern University’s Alumni Association and has been a member and officer on the Association’s board of directors. Her service to Georgia Southern also includes being a charter member of the College of Education Board of Advisors.

Molly Howard Receives 2009 Alumni Award
Dr. Molly Howard was recognized as Alumna of the Year for the College of Education, at the Georgia Southern Alumni Awards Dinner on April 4, 2009. Dr. Howard received her education specialist and doctoral degrees from Georgia Southern University. She has distinguished herself in her community and profession through her work and leadership. Some examples include: 1990 Georgia Teacher of the Year, 2000 John Yates Scholarship from the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, 2007 Georgia Principal of the Year, and 2008 MetLife/National Association of Secondary School Principals National High School Principal of the Year. She is principal of Jefferson County High School in Louisville, Georgia.

Norris B. Strickland posthumously honored with 2008 Alumni Award
The late Jesup, Ga., businessman Norris B. Strickland (’53) was posthumously honored. Strickland was owner and president of Norris B. Strickland and Associates, Inc., and owner and developer of Whitepath Lodge in Ellijay, Ga. He served on the University Foundation’s Board of Trustees, as Lettermen’s Club president, on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and was Alumnus of the Year in Private Enterprise in 2004 and Alumnus of the Year for the Association in 1980.

Dawn H. Cartee Receives 2007 Alumni Award
Dawn H. Cartee was recognized as Alumna of the Year for the College of Education, at the Georgia Southern Alumni Awards Dinner on March 24, 2007. Cartee, who has earned four degrees at Georgia Southern, is President of Ogeechee Technical College. She holds a BBA in Marketing, M.Ed. in Adult Education, Ed.S. in Educational Leadership, and Ed.D. in Educational Administration. Cartee was named one of Georgia Trend magazine’s “40 under 40” for 2005. She is a member of the 2007 class of Leadership Georgia, and is a graduate of the 2003 class of Leadership Bulloch and the 2004 class of Leadership Southeast Georgia. She also has the distinction of being one of only 40 international participants invited to join the 2003 Oxford Round Table at St. Antony’s College, which is part of the University of Oxford in England.

Chase Puckett Receives 2006 Alumni Award
The College of Education 2006 Alumnus of the Year is Chase Puckett of Screven County, the statewide Teacher of the Year. Puckett, who earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1997 and his Master of Education Degree in 2001 from Georgia Southern, is a member of the National Council for Teachers of English, a member of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators and serves on the Georgia Title I Committee of Practitioners. He developed and coordinated a collaborative team project known as the Sci-Fi Project and has served as summer volunteer in American Samoa working with youth and children. Puckett also sponsored and produced the Screven County Middle School yearbook for six years. During 2005, as Georgia Teacher of the Year, he traveled the state as an educational ambassador for all of Georgia’s public schools and advocate for all school systems, students and teachers.

Jan Anderson Received 2005 Alumni Award
Jan Anderson (B.S., ’61) was recognized as Alumna of the Year for the College of Education, at the Georgia Southern Alumni Awards Dinner on Saturday, April 2, 2005. Ms. Anderson is a retired educator who lives in Statesboro. She taught readiness first grade and was selected to teach a math class that was aired on Public Broadcasting System Channel 9. The library at Calvary Day School in Savannah was named for her in 2004. She has been a church pianist, choir member and Sunday school teacher for more than 40 years, and she sings in the women’s trio Boundless Love.

Sara Neville Bennett was named 2004 Alumna of the Year for the College of Education.
Dr. Bennett (B.S., ’64; B.S. Ed., ’64; M.S., ’67) is a professor in the Department of Biology at Georgia Southern. She is the former president of the Genetics Society of Georgia and past president of the Georgia Academy of Science and the Southeastern Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. She was the co-convener for the 1990 Annual Meetings of the Genetics Society of Georgia and the 1986 Neurospora Information Conference. She was previously named alumna of the year for Georgia Southern’s biology department.

Last updated: 6/9/2016