Alumni honors: 40 Under 40 winners
Each year, the University of Georgia Alumni Association honors 40 alumni who have made an impact in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. Members have demonstrated dedication to UGA and its mission of teaching, research and service. We are proud to highlight Bynikini Frazier, a 2008 graduate, and Eric Wearne, a 2002 graduate, both named to the 2014 class of the Alumni Association's 40 Under 40.
Bynikini Frazier (BSED '08)
_First-grade teacher, Hodge Elementary School_
Bynikini Frazier says she learned the joy of teaching as a fifth-grader at Hodge Elementary School in Savannah as she helped fellow students with their reading and writing. Today, she has come full circle, teaching first grade at the same school.
Frazier was named the 2014 Savannah Chatham County Public Schools District Teacher of the Year, and also selected by Gov. Nathan Deal as a winner in the Innovation in Teaching competition, receiving a stipend for both herself and her school and was filmed for a classroom documentary by Georgia Public Broadcasting. Her video and innovative lesson will be used as a model for other instructors.
Along with holding leadership positions in several national honors and service fraternities, Frazier serves as a mentor for the Teacher Induction Program and mentors new teachers at Hodge Elementary. Her English-language arts instruction methods are observed as model practices.
Her mother, grandmother and third-grade teacher all helped instill a passion for teaching in Frazier at an early age, and today she says it's more than a job — it's an art and a calling to give back to the community. And her community, she adds, has helped shape her into the strong, determined, spirited teacher she is today.
Eric Wearne (MA '02)
_Assistant professor, Georgia Gwinnett College School of Education_
Eric Wearne teaches assessment and foundations classes for undergraduates. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia Gwinnett College, Wearne was deputy director of the Governor's Office of Student Achievement in Atlanta, where he managed the publication of the annual State Report Card, coordinated several Georgia-specific research projects, and played a major role in planning and conducting statewide audits of standardized testing practices in Georgia's public schools.
While at the Governor's Office of Student Achievement, he served as Gov. Sonny Perdue's representative to the National Assessment Governing Board, which implements the National Assessment of Educational Progress — more commonly called "the nation's report card."
Wearne has been invited to present his research by organizations such as the Institute for Humane Studies, the Georgia Appalachian Center for Higher Education, and the Journal of School Choice. He is also the current governing board chair at Latin Academy Charter School, a college preparatory middle school in Atlanta, and helped start the high school program at St. John Bosco Academy, a hybrid homeschool/private school in Suwanee.
He began his career teaching English and debate at Duluth High School in Gwinnett County.