"I have been interested in science since I was a little girl," she said. "Growing up, I knew I wanted to do something with animals. It was my dream."
In 1988, Mrs. Holmes began working at a veterinary practice in Augusta. As she fulfilled her dream of working with animals, she realized she also enjoyed sharing what she knew with other people.
"So in 1999 I decided that I wanted to try something different," she said. "I then went on to finish my biology degree at ASU (Augusta State University) and decided that I wanted to teach."
Since 2002, Mrs. Holmes has taught biology and Advanced Placement biology at Butler High School. She is also the coordinator for the school's Freshman Academy, tutors and has served on the school's improvement team.
"I enjoy the challenge of keeping my students motivated and showing them that studying science is something that is relevant to their life, and it can be fun. I also enjoy helping them think about the future," she said. "For a lot of them, it opens up a career path once they realize what is all involved with studying biology."
It's also her mission to be supportive of her students, she said.
"They need to know that they have an advocate who is really concerned for their well-being and is proud of them when they do good and will get on them when they aren't doing what they should," she said. "That genuine concern helps to keep them going, and it shows that teachers have an effect. You may not know it day to day, but when you watch them mature and develop into adults, it's very rewarding."
Mrs. Holmes' dedication to the students is impressive, said Walter Reeves, Butler's principal.
"She's an excellent teacher. She brings a lot of enthusiasm to the classroom and has a good rapport with the kids," he said. "She makes the lessons meaningful and relevant to her students."
She also contributes her time and energy to helping other teachers and the school, he said.
"She's one of those folks that will do whatever you ask her to do," Dr. Reeves said. "She also takes the initiative to do what she can for this school and is an example of a true professional."
Mrs. Holmes said that she can't wait to see what the new school year has in store.
"With everyone willing and determined to put forth their full effort, I feel like this school year is going to be the best one yet," she said.
Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEACHER OF THE MONTH: BRIGITTE HOLMES
SCHOOL: Butler High School
CLASSES TAUGHT: Biology and Advanced Placement biology
YEARS TEACHING: Six
WHAT SHE LIKES ABOUT TEACHING: "I really need my students every day," she said. "They are the reason I'm here, and it makes me so happy to see them when the light bulb goes on or when they are passionate about something."
NOMINATOR'S QUOTE: "Mrs. Holmes is constantly working to improve the school. She volunteers on many committees and gives much of her time to the school," wrote Charlotte Watson, a media specialist at Butler High.
WHAT IS COMMUNITY COUNTS?
Community Counts is The Augusta Chronicle's new collaborative effort to benefit the communities in our area. This multitiered program of involvement includes contests, events, sponsorships and recognition of outstanding youths, teachers, volunteers and public servants in the Augusta area.
Nomination forms are available online at augustachronicle. com/community counts, or you can contact Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or nikasha.dicks@ augustachronicle. com.