For the 25th year, the Cobb Chamber presented the Give Our Schools a Hand awards Tuesday to 130 teachers from Cobb County.
The day started with a breakfast for the honorees at Roswell Street Baptist Church, followed by a pep rally where 100 members of the Hillgrove High School marching band paraded the teachers down the aisle to their seats.
Before the pep rally, buses were unloaded with young children filing into the church with bright poster board signs.
The band was rehearsing outside before the event, which Patrick Erwin, who is in his first year as director of the band program, said was partially to be an example for the younger kids who might one day entertain with the band.
Inside the sanctuary, even filling the balcony, the kids continued the lively commotion with cheers showing pride for their beloved educators.
One student of Brumby Elementary School, which is located just outside of Marietta east of Interstate 75, was Alyssa Dallas, 11, who was proud of her art teacher, William Tryden, who was recognized.
“He is the best teacher we could ever have,” Dallas said.
Dallas said Tryden gave her a love for drawing and painting, mostly of cartoon characters. Dallas said it is her second year going to Tryden’s art class, and the reason she looks forward to Mondays, which is art day.
Another proud student was Paige Pinniger, 17, a junior at Pebblebrook High School in Mableton, who attended Tuesday to cheer on her accelerated math and AP Calculus teacher, Roopa Yadavalli.
Pinniger said Yadavalli connects with the students and makes learning complex math problems fun.
“She breaks it down and makes it easy,” Pinniger said.
Cindy Wagner, a winning teacher from Sanders Elementary School in Austell, was a kindergarten teacher for 10 years before becoming a second-grade teacher.
Wagner said she liked the change because the kids “are a little bit independent.”
The most important lesson to teach second-graders is to love to read, which for boys includes mostly nonfiction books about animals and dinosaurs, Wagner said.
Wagner said many teachers feel overworked, but special awards and extravaganzas like Tuesday show how much the community supports and appreciates them.
The greatest thing about the day, Wagner said, is “I get to see my kids, a lot of kids I haven’t seen in years.”
DISTRICT TEACHERS OF THE YEAR
Tracie Bucy - Cobb County Elementary School Teacher of the Year
kindergarten teacher at Rocky Mount Elementary School in northeast Cobb
Cathy Zingler, - Cobb County High School Teacher of the Year
special education teacher at Lassiter High School in east Cobb
Rhonda Lokey - Cobb County Middle School Teacher of the Year and Cobb County District Teacher of the Year
sixth grade social studies teacher at Campbell Middle School in Smyrna
Stormi Johnson - Marietta City School District Teacher of the Year
third grade teacher at Marietta Center for Advanced Academics