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My Teacher is Tops: Diana Nelson and Jordan Rigdon at Eagle Springs Elementary

We're celebrating Central Georgia's top teachers on National Teacher Appreciation Week

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — It’s national Teacher Appreciation Week and we know teachers have had to go above and beyond to meet all the challenges over the last year since the pandemic began, so we’re honoring top teachers across Central Georgia every night this week.

Marvin James went down to Houston County to surprise two teachers who have “virtually” connected with their students in a deep way. Eagle Springs Elementary principal Andrea McGee set up a "faculty meeting" to gather all the teachers for the surprise.

And boy, were teachers Diana Nelson and Jordan Rigdon surprised!

They were nominated by student Ava Combs, who sent 13WMAZ a video message explaining why they are top teachers.

"They deserve this award because they are nice, take time to listen to us, never give up on us, and they explain stuff forever," said Combs.

Both teachers say connecting with students was even more important while teaching virtually this year.

"The fact that we pay attention to their body language, especially the signs on their faces, whether they're upset, happy, clueless, right? Because we get that look through a computer too, we take that extra time," said Rigdon.

"I think because we came with our heart this year, it's really kind of..  made it all worth it," said Nelson.

We're also highlighting other top teachers!

  • Lauren Baugh and Nicole Reeves at Wilkinson County Primary School were nominated by their student, Ashley Bostwick. Ashley got a little help writing the letter since she’s just in Pre-K.
  • Georgia Academy for the Blind student Destiny Gilchrist nominated her literature teacher, Todd Lyon. He teaches ninth grade, and Destiny says he always helps her out when she needs it.
  • Fourth grader McKenzie Creamer from Covenant Academy sent us a great letter about her teacher, Anna Beth Shepard. Creamer says Shepard is wonderful, godly, and has a kind heart.

On Wednesday we’ll be up in Monroe County for the next surprise.

Do you have an amazing teacher? We want to honor them. Text us a picture to 478-752-1309 and tell us why they are a top teacher. Include your name, the teacher’s name, and what school they teach at, and you just might see them on 13WMAZ.


My Teacher is Tops: Melanie Cravey at Bleckley County Middle

Houston County Schools opens virtual learning applications for 2021-22 school year