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Vidalia Teacher Bobby George on His Way to National VFW Competition

Vidalia Teacher Bobby George on His  Way to National VFW Competition Vidalia Teacher Bobby George on His  Way to National VFW Competition

Wins Local, District and State Titles

Vidalia City Schools history instructor Bobby George is on his way to national competition in Washington, D.C., after winning local, district and state awards as “Teacher of the Year.”

George garnered the Toombs County Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary honors, as well as the District 6 and Georgia VFW and Auxiliary awards in a presentation cere- continued from page

mony held Saturday, January 30 at the local VFW headquarters in Vidalia.

George knew that he was to receive the local and district honors, but was surprised by the state award, said Shirley Curl, who coordinated the awards event.

George commented, 'It is by God's grace and direction that I get to teach history and citizenship to high school students. God has put so many good people in my life who have supported and encouraged me throughout my career. I really appreciate Mrs. Shirley Curl for nominating me and I was very honored to receive this award.”

He continued, “I especially want to thank the men and women of the VFW for their service in the military to protect our country's freedom and safety. There are many educators who continue to teach their students to remember and honor our veterans and the fallen heroes who have made sacrifices so that we can live in peace and security in the United States of America.'

George graduated from Vidalia High School in 1977, and earned degrees from Brewton Parker College and Georgia Southern College. He has taught in the Toombs County School system for 31 years. He has been teaching at Vidalia High School for three years.

He is the son of the late Bob and Edith George and has been married to Kim Callaway for 37 years. They have three children and three grandchildren.

George is proud that his father served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and that he has seven uncles who served in the U.S. Military.

In his application for the award, George noted that he has been blessed to be able to help students appreciate their American citizenship and to make a positive impact on their country.

“I have taken students to serve as pages for State Legislators, to attend the local County Commissioners’ meetings, and to tour Washington, D.C., but the most moving field trip for my students was to visit the National POW Museum.” He has helped students prepare for the Harvard Model Congress, a highly-respected simulation of the Federal Government. “They worked with students from all parts of the country, they toured Historic Boston, and they attended classes at Harvard.” He also noted that his students enjoyed observing a session of the U.S. Federal Circuit Court that was held at their school.

“I encourage students to serve their school and community by assisting teachers on planning days, donating blood, and donating to the needy. My students have read to elementary students and helped with events at the local elementary schools. For September 11 and November 11, my students have made posters to display around the school,” he wrote.

As his students studied the history of our nation, he asked several Vietnam Veterans to talk about their own experiences and to offer their views of that war and to give advice about life. His students attend the Memorial Day service held each year and some have read their Voice of Democracy speeches there. “My favorite experience was when a group of students arranged a ‘Welcome Home’ party for a group of Vietnam Veterans. Several of the veterans said that they were not ever really welcomed home, so they deeply appreciated this gesture. The students really ‘got it’ that they had initiated an event that was so meaningful.”

In his recommendation of George for the VFW Award, VHS Principal John E. Sharpe, Jr. noted that he has known George for 30 years, including his service as a teacher in the Social Studies Department for the last three years at VHS. “Mr. George is one of the most outstanding teachers I have ever enjoyed the privilege of working with.” He added that George teaches the school’s Dual Enrollment U.S History classes and Honors World History classes. “He has his students participate in the D.A.R. Voice of Democracy Contest, started a recognition to support our military overseas – “Remember Everyone Deployed” – and has students participate in activities to remember those who served on Veterans Day and Memorial Day,” Sharpe said. “Mr. George possesses the knowledge, character, and motivation necessary for an outstanding professional in education… he is passionate about his profession. He has a desire to be the best and is continually trying to improve his knowledge of his profession,” Sharpe said. He “makes decisions based on what is best for all involved, stemming from deep moral convictions and a sense of unwavering integrity…(and) builds positive relationships with all students…He has had an eternal impact on many students at Vidalia High School.”

Sharpe noted that George goes beyond being a presenter of material. “He actively engages students in the learning process, often having students produce and report on projects. Students report how much they work in Mr. George’s class, but no one complains because they are having so much fun.”

Sharpe said he observed a class where George’s students were actively engaging in a structured debate about the impact on immigration in our country. “Students knew the expectation was more than sharing opinions, they were expected to produce facts to support their opinion.”

Also honored during the ceremony was Heritage Academy student Riley Toole who won top honors in the region for her Voice of Democracy speech. She placed second in state competition.

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