Sandra Owens knows something about service.
The Richmond County School System Teacher of the Year finalist dedicated 20 years of her life to the Army – more if you include her years as a “military brat” while her father served. Now Owens serves some of the smallest citizens – students at Freedom Park Elementary School at Fort Gordon.
Owens will join finalists Brigitte Holmes (Hephzibah High), Kia Mills (A.R. Johnson Magnet), Tonya Fulton (Morgan Road Middle) and Denise Pennywell (Glenn Hills Elementary) at the Teacher of the Year Banquet on Thursday at the Augusta Marriott. The recipient will receive a car, trophy, gift certificates and more.
If chosen, Owens won’t take all the glory herself.
“We have a county filled with school-level selected and unselected teachers of the year,” Owens said. “Yet for me it means that every person that has influenced my life has finally received their recognition through me.”
Like the other nominees, Owens has made an impact on the students’ lives. In May, a former student’s mother sent Owens an email telling her the effect she had on her son’s life while he was in her fourth and fifth grade classes. The mother attached a photo of her son in the fourth grade and another of him as a high school senior holding his acceptance letter to the U.S. Military Academy.