Toombs Central Elementary School
Phone: (912) 565-7781
Address: 6287 U.S. 1, Lyons, GA 30436
TCES Teacher of the Year:
Ms. Andrea Kelley is TCES 2018 Teacher of the Year!
My name is Andrea Kelley and I am honored and humbled that I have been selected to be Teacher of the Year at Toombs Central Elementary School. Teaching is my passion, and I am so blessed that I get to work in a profession that is near and dear to my heart. However, I didn’t start my career in teaching. In 1997, I graduated with honors from Southeastern Technical College with a degree in Business Management and Accounting. I worked as a Health and Beauty Care manager at Bi-Lo for several years and then as an Administrative Assistant at the Refuge Domestic Violence Shelter. I enjoyed working these jobs, but I felt like I wasn’t doing what God had called me to do. I knew I loved teaching Sunday school and Wednesday night Bible study, and I desired to do something along those lines as far as a career. Wanting to be home with my kids, I became a licensed home daycare provider, and I loved it! I was back in my element…making a difference in the lives of children. However, after 8 years of home daycare, I wanted to do more and to get outside of the four walls of my home. Therefore, I decided to go back to school to pursue a career in Early Childhood and Spanish. In 2006, I got accepted at Brewton Parker College. In 2010, I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Spanish. I also received the Future Outstanding Teacher Award from the Education Department. Upon graduating, I accepted the 5th grade inclusion teacher position at Sally D. Meadows. I worked in Vidalia City for 2 years before coming to work here at Toombs Central. In 2011, I was named the Special Education Teacher of the Year for Vidalia City. It was such an honor! I currently teach 5th grade math and science. I can’t think of a better place to come to work to everyday. This is my 5th year at Toombs Central. Teaching and my students give me life! They give me a purpose! I feel like I am making a difference in the lives of my students while helping them to meet their academic, social and emotional needs. I’m teaching them how to learn, to think, to be responsible and to exceed at anything they put their minds to. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” My teaching philosophy is very simple: students do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Teaching at a Title 1 school where the poverty rate is high, caring is what they need first, after they know you care, then they open up their heart and mind and you can teach them. I show my caring by forming relationships with my students and trying to help them find their dreams and strengths so they can believe in themselves the way I believe in them. Either way, they are the future and have unlimited value. I strive to create a caring, safe, and engaging learning environment, which encourages students to believe in themselves and to do their personal best. I believe every child should be valued and treated with respect. An education should empower a child and help him or her make a positive contribution to our world and it brings me joy that I get to be a part of that process. I am thrilled to be a part of such an amazing community and doing a job I love. Outside of teaching, I enjoy reading, drawing, painting and spending time with my family and friends. My family and friends are my support system and mean the world to me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I give God the glory for this accomplishment and hope that I can continue to grow as a teacher and individual.