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Several teacher candidate mentors are finalists for Clarke County's 2017-18 Teacher of the Year

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Lindsey Arize, a first-grade teacher at J.J. Harris Elementary School and the school's 2017 Teacher of the Year, and Andrea Rowe, a first-grade teacher at Whit Davis Elementary School, were selected as two of the three finalists for Clarke County School District's 2017-18 Teacher of the Year. These two outstanding teachers have served as mentor teachers for UGA teacher candidates in the early childhood education program for many years.

"It is a luxury to have both Mrs. Arinze and Mrs. Rowe as mentor teachers for our early childhood candidates," said Bob Capuozzo, early childhood education program coordinator and professor-in-residence at J.J. Harris Elementary School. "Both are exceptional teachers and teacher educators. I know that any candidates placed in their classrooms will be well-prepared."

Arize earned her bachelor's from UGA and her master's from Piedmont College before she began teaching at J.J. Harris. She mentored her first UGA teacher candidate in spring 2014 and has consistently mentored teacher candidates ever since.

Arize had a profound impact on preparing Emily Bradbury, a recent graduate, to become a teacher. "Teaching requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and passion. Mrs. Arize showed me first-hand what a teacher of this standard looks like. I have been able to use many of the lessons and routines we created together. From her mentoring, I was able to confidently enter into my teaching career.

After earning both her bachelor's and master's from the College of Education, Rowe became a teacher at Whit Davis and has been mentoring UGA teacher candidates for eight years. Early childhood education teacher candidate Alex Garmon said she is not surprised that Rowe is a finalist for Teacher of the Year.

"Mrs. Rowe makes a point to know every one of her students on a personal level. She knows the abilities of each student and pushes them to do their best," Garmon said. "Since my very first day, she has encouraged me to take an active role in teaching. She welcomes my ideas and provides honest feedback on my progress as an aspiring teacher. I have been fortunate to be placed with such a wonderful and hard-working mentor teacher."

Greg Huberty, a teacher at Cedar Shoals High School, was named the 2017-18 Clarke County School District Teacher of the Year.

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