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Houston County Teacher of the Year ~ VHS Ike Thompson
Posted On:
Wednesday, August 02, 2017
Honors Teachers and Employees of the Year

The Houston County School System honored 39 Teachers of the Year and six Employees of the Year during the system’s Opening Session held July 26, 2017. The systemwide Teacher of the Year and system finalists were announced for the first time. Ike Thompson (pictured) of Veterans High School is the 2017-2018 Houston County Teacher of the Year.

The four finalists for systemwide Teacher of the Year (TOTY) are:

·         Kaitlin Bryant, Parkwood Elementary;

·         Summer Collins, Centerville Elementary;

·         Henry Jones, Jr., Westside Elementary School; and

·         Travis Phelps, Thomson Middle.

Thompson teaches English Language Arts at Veterans High. He has taught in Houston County for 11 years. In his free time he can be found in his boat, in the woods, enjoying music or writing for outdoor publications. Originally from Michigan, eight of his family members traveled from Michigan to be present for the surprise announcement.

The 2017-2018 Employees of the Year (EOTY) were also honored. Congratulations to:

«  Bus Driver of the Year – Erica Peck;

«  Bus Monitor of the Year – Ruth Clowers;

«  Custodian of the Year – Betty Jean Mathis, Quail Run Elementary;

«  Distribution Center Employee of the Year – William Middleton;

«  Maintenance Employee of the Year – Travanti Harrell; and

«  School Nutrition Program Manager of the Year – Vicki Purvis, Tucker Elementary.

Gifts and cash awards valued at approximately $65,000 were presented to the 45 honorees, courtesy of generous sponsors. Southside Baptist hosted the event and provided free coffee and water as teachers arrived. In addition, Coca-Cola provided Cokes and water, which district maintenance staff distributed as teachers left the event.

Many thanks are expressed to the companies that provided event sponsorship:

·               Premier level: Flint Energies, HEA Federal Credit Union, Houston Healthcare, Parrish Construction, Southside Baptist, VALIC – John Lamberth and Yancey Bus Sales & Blue Bird;

·               Gold: ComSouth, Cox Communications and Totem Solutions;

·               Silver: CB&T Bank and Georgia Military College;

·               Bronze: Advanced Eyecare, Arline & Associates, Horace Mann Company, Herff Jones - Randy Roderick, The Walker Law Firm - Jay & C. J. Walker;

·               Friends of BOE:  Davis Oil Company.

Honorees received congratulatory letters from Houston County legislators and Gov. Nathan Deal. The six EOTY each received gifts valued at more than $1,600, plus a letter from Congressman Austin Scott. Each of the 39 TOTY received gifts valued at about $700, and the top 10 TOTY received additional gifts valued at about $750. Four TOTY system finalists received a total value of approximately $4,500 in gifts and cash awards. As the Houston County Teacher of the Year, Thompson received gifts totaling more than $17,000 to include $3,000 in cash awards from companies such as HEA Federal Credit Union, Robins Regional Chamber and Sonny’s BBQ. He also was awarded a new Honda for the year by Hughes Honda.

The school system greatly appreciates the following companies that provided gifts:

Ace Hardware & Garden Center of Perry    

Advanced Eyecare Center    

Barnes Carpet Care

Belk Matthews

Dr. and Mrs. Alex Bell

Brown’s Eye Center

Burger King of Perry

C&C Photography

CB&T Bank of Middle Georgia

Chamber of Commerce, Perry Area

Chamber of Commerce, Robins Regional

Cherokee Pines Golf & Fitness Club

Chick-fil-As of Warner Robins

Clean Control Corporation


Collective Goods

Colours Salon

Cossart Design

Dark Horse Fitness, Stephanie Phillips  

Davis Oil Company

Edge Fitness

James Farmer, Inc.

FireStarter Fab Lab  

Dr. William Freeman


Galleria Mall

Genuine Georgia Group

Georgia Association of Educators

Georgia Military College

Georgia National Fairgrounds

Georgia Theatre

Gottwals Books

Grillmaster of Perry

Harris Trophies

HEA Federal Credit Union

Houston Association of Educators      

Houston County Development Authority

Houston Lake Country Club

Hughes Honda

Kerri Moore Interiors

Lifeway Christian Store

The Lily Room Spa

LongHorn Steakhouse of Perry

Bill Loudermilk

Lumber Liquidators

McCall’s Sandwiches

Middle Georgia RESA

Mossy Creek Natural

Museum of Arts & Sciences

Museum of Aviation

My Grandma’s Empanadas

National Bank Products


Occasions at Lake Joy

Office Depot

Outback Steakhouse

Parrish Construction

Professional Association of Georgia Educators


Satterfield & Dempsey Jewelers

Shane’s Rib Shack in Perry

Simply Southern Sweets

Phil Smith

Sonny's Bar-B-Q
Stevi B’s, Kathleen

Stone Mountain Park

Subway of Perry Bypass

The Swanson House

TANgerines Tanning & Oxygen Bar

Tidal Wave Auto Spa

The Vine Boutique

Walgreens of Perry

Walmarts of Warner Robins & Perry

Warner Robins Supply

Wild Adventures Theme Park

Yelverton Jewelers

Yes! It’s Consignment

Zaxby’s of Middle Georgia