District honors Barrow's best teachers

WINDER - Barrow County's elite teachers gathered at the Inn at Chateau Elan on Thursday to honor the Teachers of the Year.

About 300 people turned out to recognize Ginger Crosswhite, Barrow County Schools Teacher of the Year and Winder-Barrow High School Teacher of the Year, along with Teachers of the Year from each school in the county.

Each school nominates three teachers for the honor who have completed at least two years of service in Barrow County.

"Teachers of the Year must be dedicated, knowledgeable, skilled, respected by their students, active in the community, career-oriented and they must be able to withstand the schedule," said Connie Wehunt, a Barrow County Board of Education member.

Crosswhite was born and raised in Winder and attended Winder-Barrow middle and high schools, Gainesville College, earned a bachelor's degree in education from Georgia Southern University and earned her master's degree from the University of Georgia. She has taught for 20 years and serves as president of the PTA, Girl Scout leader and cheerleading sponsor.

Crosswhite, a science teacher at Winder-Barrow High, likened the teacher to an artist and a magician.

"Teaching is like art. It must have content, subject and form," Crosswhite said. "Each teacher is a magician, making content thrilling and awe-inspiring."

She noted specific goals that each teacher should incorporate into the classroom.

"In education, purposeful reflection is often absent," Crosswhite said. "We must be aware of the student and how learning is taking place. Making meaning is the relevance of teaching and building rapport is the key to classroom success. We must look beyond the test scores and standards and ask, 'Are we teaching what's important?' We must teach the whole child."

Crosswhite was awarded $500 from Gwinnett Federal Credit Union, a bouquet of flowers from Costco, a plaque and a Teacher of the Year challenge coin from the Barrow County School System.