CARROLLTON, GA – Since the third grade, she knew she was going to be a veterinarian. But a fateful day during a college oral exam changed Stefnie Crites’ trajectory, and Carrollton City Schools students are the ones who have benefitted the most.
The Carrollton Upper Elementary School fifth grade teacher received the top honor as the Carrollton City Schools district Teacher of the Year for 2022-2023. Crites was recognized along with three others – Tamara Wooten, John Megathlin, and Michael Harvey, Teachers of the Year at Carrollton Elementary, Carrollton Junior High and Carrollton High School, respectively, at the Oct. 4 Carrollton Board of Education monthly meeting. Crites, clearly surprised by her selection, was almost speechless. In short remarks, she concluded: “I want to thank everyone I work with for allowing me to stretch my legs and continue to grow as an educator. We are going to keep learning and moving and take it to the next level.”
Last spring, each school announced its school-level representative to serve this school year. From that pool of candidates, a district team studied applications and evaluated the teachers in their classroom settings to decide which one will represent Carrollton City Schools at state.
“All of these teachers are talented educators and we are grateful they are part of our team,” said Dr. Mark Albertus, superintendent. “But we can only select one at the district level. Mrs. Crites will represent Carrollton City Schools very well.”
Dr. Albertus also noted the generosity of community sponsors that allowed for each teacher to receive a monetary award. Sponsors were Carrollton Office Equipment, West Georgia Cornhole, and ValuTeachers.
“Our community sponsors allow us to make this event even more special,” said Dr. Albertus. “We appreciate their commitment to our school system and supporting our teachers in this way.”
Everyone has a favorite teacher, and for Crites, it was her third grade one, Miss Doyle. In fact, Miss Doyle’s impression on her was so great that Crites decided after that chemistry oral exam she wanted to become a teacher just like Miss Doyle: To emulate her, model her classroom style, tell exciting, vivid stories to help her students learn.
“It was in her room that I gained a strong foundation in many specialties, but I truly believe that her masterful weaving of the standards is where I gained my love of integration,” says Crites. “I began to understand that students learn through stories, even if you have to create one! I am forever grateful to Miss Doyle for being my inspiration and helping to build the confidence I needed.”
Stacy Lawler, principal of CUES, notes Crites “is like a great coach who taps into that well of intrinsic motivation and potential. She makes her students want to be better readers and writers without them even realizing it. She hooks them – whether with her outside-the-box techniques, her alternative classroom setup, or her most engaging and interactive learning activities. She constantly is tweaking and adjusting what she does and is a true life-long learner that continuously is striving to perfect her craft. We are truly lucky and blessed to have her.”
The Carrollton City Schools Board of Education recognized the system’s Teachers of the Year at the Oct. 4 board meeting. Stefnie Crites was selected as the system’s Teacher of the Year. Pictured from left are CJHS Teacher of the Year John Megathlin; CUES/CCS Teacher of the Year Stefnie Crites; CES Teacher of the Year Tamara Wooten; and CHS Teacher of the Year Michael Harvey.