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COE alumnae receive mentorship awards

Each year, the Georgia Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (GACTE), recognizes the efforts of teachers who mentor college students pursuing careers in education. Nine teacher mentors are recognized annually, with each of the Georgia Department of Education’s (GaDOE) P-20 Collaboratives selecting an awardee. 

This year, four of the nine Georgia Mentor Teacher Award recipients are alumni of the Georgia Southern University College of Education including: Delta Casey, Lea Mitchell, Cindy Oliver, and April Trussell.

“Each P-20 Collaborative is tasked with determining the nominees and winners,” said Regina Rahimi, Ed.D., professor of middle grades and secondary education and Southeast Georgia P-20 Collaborative planning committee member. “The P-20 planning committee developed the rubric and the timeline for nominations and recipients. The nominees prepared nomination packets, and our committee engaged in virtual interviews to determine the recipients.”

Applicants for the award were selected based on criteria including: demonstrated excellence in mentorship, advocacy for the profession, participation in institutional or P-20 professional activities, administrative recommendation and support and other professional distinctions.

“The pool represented a very impressive group of educators,” said Rahimi. “These teachers have devoted their time and energy not only to their students, but to their colleagues as well. They provide service to their community and the field and represent the best of who we are as educators and leaders.”

Alumni Recipients

Delta Casey, a media specialist at Greenbrier Middle School, was selected as the East P-20 Collaborative recipient for the Mentor Teacher Award. She earned a bachelor’s in middle grades education from Georgia Southern and continued her graduate education at Augusta University. A two-time recipient of Teacher of the Year at Greenbrier Middle during her 27-year tenure as a teacher, Casey was also recognized as the Columbia County Media Specialist of the Year in 2015. 

Lea Mitchell is a first grade teacher at Springdale Elementary in Bibb County School District, which is located in the Middle Georgia P-20 Collaborative. In her 15th year of teaching, Mitchell started her career in Bulloch County after graduating from Georgia Southern in 2005 with her bachelor’s in early childhood education. She also earned a master’s in early childhood education from Georgia Southern in 2007. 

Double Eagle Alumna Cindy Oliver was named the recipient of the Southeast P-20 Collaborative Mentor Teacher Award. Oliver earned a bachelor’s and master’s in middle grades education from Georgia Southern College of Education, and currently serves as a language arts teacher at Southeast Bulloch Middle School (SEBMS) in Bulloch County. With over 25 years of classroom teaching experience, Oliver currently serves as the clinical associate for SEBMS, liaising between the school and Georgia Southern for student teaching internships. 

April Trussell was the recipient of the Southwest P-20 Collaborative Mentor Teacher Award. An 11th grade history teacher at Lee County High School, Trussell earned a bachelor’s in secondary education from Georgia Southern. She was the 2007 Crisp County High and County Star Teacher of the Year, 2010 Crisp County High School Teacher of the Year, and 2019 Lee County High School Teacher of the Year.


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