Armstrong Alum Named Odom Elementary School Teacher of the Year

(May 19, 2015) — Georgia's First Lady Sandra Deal recently presented Armstrong College of Education graduate Christy Efaw with Odum Elementary School's Teacher of the Year Award.

“Being named Teacher of the Year at Odum Elementary is an honor I will always cherish,” says Christy, who teaches third grade at the Wayne County campus, located in Jesup, Ga. “I love my job and feel so blessed that I am able to work in such an intimate setting where we truly know the kids by name and there is a strong bond between the faculty and staff.”

Efaw earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education at Armstrong in 2011, after transferring from Valdosta State University as a junior.

“I loved the small class sizes at Armstrong,” she says. “I felt like my professors really took an interest in my education and wanted to make sure I succeeded.”

Armstrong's Early Childhood Education program develops elementary teachers, pre-school through grade five, using research-based effective teaching practices. Fieldwork is built into the core courses, which include English, college algebra, science, history, political science, geography, psychology, education and physical education while low student-to-faculty ratio ensure students get personalized education.

“My advisor would come and watch me teach during my practicums and provide me with hands on classroom management techniques that I could put to use right there, right then,” Efaw notes. “I can remember another teacher taking the time to read children's books to us like we were in kindergarten, but we all secretly loved it. She helped to show us how important it is to be read aloud to everyday, and I have tried my best to carry that over into my classroom.”

The program's class structure was also another strong point, as Efaw stayed with the same group of students throughout her studies, allowing her to create tight bonds and lasting friendships. She particularly enjoyed a 15-week internship, in which she partnered with a first grade teacher at James E. Bacon Elementary in the fall of 2010.

“I cannot say enough good things about Armstrong State University,” she raves. “It provided me the foundation to fulfill the dream of becoming a teacher and touching children's lives every day.”