It’s the heart-warming celebration for Teacher of the Year honorees from Marietta and Cobb school districts. The teachers are Stormi Johnson, who teaches third grade at the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics, and Rhonda Lokey, sixth grade teacher at Campbell Middle School, honored Tuesday.
The teachers were escorted to seats in front of a stage in Glover Park by Campbell High’s marching band while students thronged around them, hoisting posters proclaiming affection for the role models that make all the difference in young lives. The eighth-grade Spartan Singers of Lokey’s school sang for the teachers to the cheers of classmates in the audience. There was a performance by the Rocketeers of the Marietta Center for Advanced Academics. Students, parents and educators packed the square, a tribute to their sense of values as well as the influence of the two teachers being honored.
A measure of a great teacher is how she sees her students. Directly on point were Ms. Lokey’s remarks as she voiced her gratitude. “You inspire me every day to be the best I can be every day I walk into that classroom,” she said. Also to the point, she calls her students “Lokey’s Lovelies.” Who wouldn’t love such a teacher?
Likewise, Ms. Johnson expressed the mindset that is at the heart and soul of teaching. As she embraced two children, she said, “the ones standing around me are the reason I do what I do.” A close friend, retired Cobb teacher Mary Martin, gave the formula that makes great teachers, saying of Ms. Johnson: “She loves her students and gives 120 percent every day.”
As part of the celebration, the two honorees left their permanent hand prints on the sidewalk along Church Street, a fitting way to honor and remember the lasting imprints that Ms. Lokey and Ms. Johnson have left on their students and, in turn, our community and our society. Congratulations to our Teachers of the Year.