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Effingham Magazine



The Effingham County School District is eagerly preparing for a new and exciting school year despite COVID-19’s efforts to dampen our enthusiasm. This past Spring, our teachers and staff responded quickly to the unforeseen challenges of the pandemic to create effective and resourceful ways to educate students. Additionally, district employees have worked endless hours this summer to revise our educational delivery models to allow for both virtual and traditional learning opportunities.

We have also set procedures in place to mitigate the spread of the virus within our school system so families can feel confident that students are learning in a safe and healthy environment. The Effingham County School District is currently serving approximately 13,000 pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students.

Our reputation for quality education in a safe environment guarantees that those numbers will continue to increase each year. Our elementary and middle school students receive strong educational foundations preparing them for high school programs such as Honors and Advanced Placement courses, participation with the STEM Academy, and opportunities for involvement in one of our many career pathways at ECCA. Our students can earn college credit while still in high school, earn certifications towards employment across a number of professions, gain invaluable on-the-job experience through Work-Based Learning and internship programs, and participate with real-world applications of science, technology, engineering and math.

This year, ECSD families were given the opportunity to choose between two class-setting options: the Traditional Learning Option and the Virtual Learning Option. Students enrolled in the traditional option will participate with classes in the conventional brick-and-mortar school setting. In an effort to provide the safest possible environment for students and staff in the traditional setting, extra measures will be enforced to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These measures include random temperature checks, increased cleaning and disinfection of school buildings, increased availability of hand sanitizer, modified classroom seating arrangements, and social distancing to the greatest extent practicable.

Students who participate with the Virtual Learning Option will take all classes at home in a virtual environment while remaining enrolled in the Effingham County school system. Although the virtual option has been made available specifically for students with medical needs or health conditions, no student has been required to provide a documented medical reason to participate. ECSD has made virtual learning available to all interested families and plans to provide chromebooks to eligible families as well as additional Wi-Fi connectivity in selected areas throughout the community.

Our school system would like to express gratitude to Effingham County citizens for voting to accept the bond referendum at the June 9th election. These funds will enable us to continue to offer exceptional programs in safe facilities. The ESPLOST funds will support projects including needed additions to several ECSD schools, increased safety measures to protect staff and students, a new elementary and middle school within the next five years, and reduction of traffic congestion during pick up and drop off times.

The citizens have entrusted us with these financial resources, and we are committed to utilizing them responsibly to meet the needs of our growing student population. It is a privilege for the Effingham County School District to educate the students of our wonderful community, and we are grateful to be a part of the Effingham family. We vow to do all we can to continue earning your trust and support and to offer Effingham’s children the best possible educational experiences.


Dr. Yancy Ford

ECSD Superintendent

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS with the Principals of Effingham County School District


LATOYA JONES, Blandford Elementary

As the Principal of Blandford Elementary School, I am looking forward to continuing to serve the BES community. I am a Georgia Southern University graduate, married to Anthony Jones, Asst. Band Director of the Effingham County High School, and we have a 5-year-old son, Trenton.

What are your goals for the school year?

Our goals at BES are to continue to develop good leaders and learners while keeping students comfortable with learning in a safe environment.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

BES is participating in Leader in Me to support the social emotional aspect of learning and leadership. Our students are very excited to continue to work on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

What’s your favorite summer memory?

My favorite summer memory is when my mother took my brother and I to Disney World and Universal Studios! I am looking forward to continuing to provide that same fun experience to our son, Trenton


TRAVIS DICKEY, Effingham County Middle School

I’m proud to have grown up in Effingham. I went to Rincon Elementary, Effingham Middle (then called Central Junior High), and Effingham High School, graduating in 1991. I went to UGA for undergraduate and Georgia Southern for graduate school.

When I look back on my time as a student, I can think of many teachers whom I adored and who were a major influence on me. And not just teachers, bus drivers, coaches, and administrators too. To give just one example, I remember with fondness my elementary school bus driver, Mrs. Mayola Sanders. Each day as she drove, she smiled and talked to us about being good and kind-hearted. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but it resonates with me today, because that’s what we all want to be—a positive influence on students.

What are your goals for the school year? You might say Mrs. May represents what we hope to accomplish at ECMS. The faculty and staff work extremely hard to be a positive influence. For example, teachers spent the past few months revising the curriculum for what we call “literacy block and talent time.” This is a special part of the day where some students get extra reading practice, some get extra writing practice, and others do hands-on enrichment activities. Now, we’re excited about the updates we’ve made--adding a writer’s workshop, tweaking the literacy strategies, vetting reading selections based on student interest, and developing new and interesting activities for enrichment.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

I’m thankful to be part of such an outstanding faculty, such a terrific learning culture. The staff is dedicated. The students are a joy. The growth that occurs each day is extraordinary. But with 22 years of experience, having worked at a number of different schools, both public and private, I can say without a doubt, ECMS is a really cool place to be, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

What’s your favorite summer memory? Spending so much time with my family, my wife Paige Dickey and our two sons and daughter. We’ve had more time to spend together in the past four months than ever, and it’s been a pleasure.



I graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1995 with my teaching degree, then six years later received a leadership degree from Georgia Southern University. I moved to Effingham County in 1997 and was hired to teach at Guyton Elementary School. During the past 24 years at GES, I have taught Pre-K, worked as Assistant Principal and I am now starting my 10th year as Principal. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters who support me in my busy career.

What are your goals for the school year?

My goal this year is to provide students with a strong foundation of moral and academic excellence through a safe and supportive learning environment especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. I want my staff to continue to develop meaningful relationships with all students and parents by having an open dialogue whether it be in person or virtual.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

During these challenging times, I want everyone to know that I feel it is critical we support each other. At GES we will continue to come up with creative ways to help the physical, mental and emotional well-being of our students, staff and parents. This upcoming school year will be like no other we have experienced but together we will be GATOR STRONG!

What’s your favorite summer memory?

We own B and E Farm and enjoy showing, selling and raising goats. Our goats are a large part of our lives and I enjoy sharing them with others.


MICHELLE CORLESS, Sandhill Elementary

This will be my first year as principal after serving as Instructional Supervisor/ Assistant Principal for the last three years at SHES. This is my 26th year as an educator. I began teaching elementary music at Claxton Elementary and J.D. Dickerson Primary School in Vidalia. I taught first and fourth grades at Rincon Elementary and served as Instructional Supervisor/Assistant Principal before coming to Sand Hill. My Bachelor’s is in Music Education and I have certification in Early Childhood Education. I have a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Georgia Southern University and a Specialist’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln Memorial University. I completed the Effingham County Aspiring Leaders Program in 2011 and Aspiring Principals Program in 2016. I have been married for 22 years to my husband John. We have twin boys, Johnathan and Graham, who will attend Georgia Southern University in the fall.

What are your goals for the school year?

My goal is to continue the academic improvements and successes for our students while involving the community in these efforts. This goal is more important than ever in our community and our district. Our motto at Sand Hill is “Together We Can,” and after ending the last school year early due to the pandemic, our new motto is: “Together We are Better!”

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

We did not end the last school year as expected but we are very excited to see our students and build strong relationships with them and their families. Our school year may look quite different however, we are going to do our very best to make the “traditional school experience” as close to normal as possible while providing our virtual students with quality instruction that mirrors the traditional school experience. The safety of our students and staff will continue to be our top priority.

What’s your favorite summer memory?

My favorite summer memories involve traveling with my family to Homer, Alaska. During our many travels to this area, we enjoy hiking to glaciers, fishing for halibut and salmon, and whale watching from our family’s boat.

Would you like to add anything about COVID-19?

Although the COVID-19 experience was very unexpected, we learned a great deal about technology and how to present learning in this format. Our teachers and staff rose to the occasion. They were able to make individual connections with students through this virtual format and I believe this experience has forever changed how educators teach and make learning visible


DR. DEREK SKAGGS, Encompass Academy

I am originally from Louisville, KY. I have a B.S. in Computer Information Systems, and M.A. in Special Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on Special Education. I started my teaching career at Anderson County High School in Lawrenceburg, KY, where I also coached high school football and track. I moved to Beaufort, SC, in 2010 where I helped open up WBECHS. I worked in South Carolina as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, a special education coordinator and a director of special education. In 2019, I accepted a position as a School Improvement Specialist within the Department of K-12 Transformation for the Savannah-Chatham Public Schools System.

What are your goals for the school year?

My goal this year is to enable my staff to provide the best possible educational and functional services to the students and families we serve to help ensure they have the opportunity to reach their maximum potential.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

Our staff will be working diligently to ensure we are providing the best possible supports and services to all of our students in all settings, face-to-face and virtually.

What was your favorite summer memory?

My favorite summer memory from this past summer is spending time with my 5-year-old son hiking and fishing.


LISA WOODS, Springfield Elementary

I have lived in Effingham County most of my life and attended Springfield Elementary as a child. I have been married to my wonderful husband, Jim Woods for 35 years and we have two children. Our son, Russ works for an accounting firm. Our daughter, Emily is a dentist in Savannah and is married to Lance Coleman. They live in Springfield. I teach Sunday School at Springfield United Methodist. I have two dogs and five cats. I absolutely love being the Principal at Springfield Elementary where I have the privilege of working with our amazing students as well as the very best faculty and staff!

What are your goals for the school year?

The most important goal is to welcome our precious students and faculty back to Springfield Elementary and help them feel safe and happy in their school home. Other goals include supporting teachers as they provide all students with the opportunity to thrive and learn in an engaging, fun and positive environment. Also, to help teachers promote collaboration, problem solving, creativity and critical thinking through the intentional use of a variety of high impact instructional strategies.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

At SES we will work very hard to ensure that each student’s academic, social and emotional needs are met in a nurturing environment. During the year we will have special events and celebrations and we will try to include parents as much as possible using technology and virtual school visits.

What’s your favorite summer memory?

I enjoyed going out in the boat and watching the dolphins swim! I loved when my son and his girlfriend came down for a visit and watching my daughter virtually graduate from dental school with our family!

Would you like to add anything about COVID-19?

I was very proud of the way our teachers and staff members quickly met the challenges of going to school virtually. The teachers were outstanding and worked hard to meet the needs of their students and their families. We all learned a great deal about technology, resilience and how much we loved and missed our students! Our teachers, staff, students, and parents proved once again that they are Bulldog Champions!


DR. TORIAN A. WHITE, South Effingham High School

I am a proud 1999 South Effingham High School graduate and I am excited to enter my 18th year in education as principal at SEHS. Professionally, I have served as a mathematics teacher, graduation coach and assistant principal at the high school level for the first ten years of my career. I transitioned to the world of middle school as principal for a total of seven years prior to my first year as SEHS principal during the 2019-2020 school year.

My family and I live here in Effingham and we are grateful to spend time with family and friends nearby. I enjoy playing basketball, watching ’90s TV sitcoms and movies, enjoying University of Georgia games, traveling, and relaxing near the water with family and friends.

What are your goals for the school year?

Alongside our dedicated team of administrators, teachers, and staff, my chief goal for this year is to re-connect the Mustang Nation. Since we left our building in mid-March, a great deal has taken place individually and collectively within our community, state, and nation. The trauma that has resulted from societal challenges, unexpected unemployment, and other impacts of the pandemic have been invisible to school employees and support professionals. Therefore, now more than ever, we re-open with an emphasis on the power of connection, empathy, and resilience as our students strive forward on their path toward graduation.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

As it has been outlined by our Superintendent and district leaders, I want our community to know that our administrators, faculty, and staff are committed to the safety and well-being of our students and staff during this challenging time. I am proud of the plans we have made, and I am confident that our students will continue to be the cooperative, engaged learners in this new situation. We intend for SEHS to continue to be a safe, stellar learning environment. To stay connected to the Mustang Nation, I encourage our community to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, as well as viewing our website for key information and dates. As always, I will continue to share my weekly Mustang Memo newsletter that includes a weekly overview of activities and key announcements. I look forward to the cooperation of our Mustang Nation!

What was your favorite summer memory?

This year, my favorite summer memory was our time at a summer house rental with family watching movies, relaxing in the pool, playing games, and reading.

Would you like to add anything about COVID-19?

During my life, I have learned that each challenge offers an opportunity to grow if we choose to take that positive perspective. So, we are choosing to embrace this unprecedented situation as a time to support one another, growth through this challenge, and give nothing less than our best each day. I look forward to working with our students, parents, faculty, and staff.


ANNA BARTON, South Effingham Elementary

The upcoming school year marks my 7th year as principal of South Effingham Elementary School. I have been a resident of Effingham County since 2007 and am proud to call Effingham my home!

What are your goals for the school year?

The main goals this year are student and staff safety, student growth and closing gap and social and emotional well-being for all. The school is always in the business of teaching and learning at the highest levels possible.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

The SEES faculty and staff put 100% into everything they do and the new journey that they are embarking on will be no different. More than ever before, we need our community to support our schools, trust in our teachers and administrators, and most importantly—remember that we are in this TOGETHER for our children!

What’s your favorite summer memory?

Over the summer, I spent time with my family, including my oldest son, David Allen, in St. Petersburg, and I also spent some time with one of my brothers and his family on St. Simon’s Island. I love the beach! All of my favorite summertime memories include the beach.

Would you like to add anything about COVID-19?

Due to COVID-19, it is inevitable that school will be different this year. It is so important that the school community works together to become stronger than ever even though we may not be able to physically come together as often as we are accustomed to. SEES is committed to providing a safe and positive school environment for children in both the traditional and online settings.


DANA WRIGHT, Ebenezer Elementary

This year will be my second year as the Principal of EES. My husband, Wade Wright teaches and coaches in the county. Our daughter, Ansleigh will be a senior at ECHS this year. I have been blessed to work at Marlow Elementary, Sand Hill and Ebenezer Elementary Schools in Effingham County. I started my teaching career teaching 4th grade in Liberty County for one year before transferring to Effingham County to teach 2nd grade at Marlow Elementary. When Sand Hill opened in 1995, I transferred to teach 2nd grade there and while at Sand Hill, I taught second grade and Reading Recovery before moving to the Instructional Supervisor (Lead Teacher) position. After 8 years, I transferred to Ebenezer Elementary to be the Assistant Principal, a position I kept for 13 years before starting last year as the Principal. This is my 30th year in education, and I still love it. I love seeing the kids every day, getting to know them and talking to them when they are at lunch. Helping teachers be successful is the most rewarding part of my job now.

What are your goals for the school year?

Our number one goal this school year is to make sure all of our students, parents and employees are safe. Another goal is to have more communication with our parents on school wide events. I encourage all EES parents to join our PTSO Facebook Page. We communicate through that and we will be sending out more messages through our call-out system. We also have some lofty goals with our teachers working on research-based teaching strategies that meet students where they are and help them to make greater gains in their reading progress. Teachers also set individual goals.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

I want the community to know that I love working at EES and will always seek ways to improve student progress. We are making many plans for this school year and we will make every effort to make this the best school year possible while making it the safest place. We may have to change a few plans as this year moves on, but all decisions will be made for what is best for students.

What’s your favorite summer memory?

My favorite summer memory this summer is spending time with my family. We did not take a vacation this summer, so we spent a lot of time together watching Netflix and hanging out making memories. I have also taken advantage of the extra time to clean up and cleanout—that makes me feel good.

Would you like to add anything about COVID-19?

The school system has worked extremely hard all summer long to prepare for what we must do for the safety of our students and employees. I am so proud to work for the Effingham County school system.


CHRISTY BROWN, South Effingham Middle School

I am proud to serve as the new principal of South Effingham Middle School. I have worked in the Effingham County School District since 2003 serving in various roles including teacher at Marlow Elementary, assistant principal at South Effingham Middle, and principal of Sand Hill Elementary. It is with great honor that I’m back at South Middle where I started my administration career. I believe that all students can learn, given a positive and safe environment in which all stakeholders collaborate together. I’m a dedicated educator, but also a mom and wife. I’ve been married for 16 years and have 3 children that attend Effingham County Schools.

What are your goals for the school year?

South Effingham Middle School’s theme this year is “Growing Into Greatness.” We will focus on the growth of all members of the South Middle family. We understand that in order to be great, we have to continue to reflect on our practices and strive to grow each day. We are also excited to start our second year incorporating school-wide STEAM linking hands-on experiences at Honey Ridge Agricenter with grade level standards. Other major focuses this year will be safety and building strong relationships with our South Effingham families.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

Our staff will receive professional development throughout the year to strengthen our STEAM program. STEAM provides our students the opportunity to work hands-on at our campus and at Honey Ridge to solve real world problems. Please join our Facebook page @SouthEffinghamMiddle to learn more information about our school and upcoming events. We look forward to an awesome year!

What’s your favorite summer memory?

My favorite memory is just being on vacation with my family spending time together and relaxing.

Would you like to add anything about COVID-19?

I try to make the best out of every situation, so I just enjoyed spending the extra time with my family during our time at home. I was also very proud of Effingham County for quickly switching to the world of virtual learning to meet the needs of our students. It was great to see such hardworking and dedicated educators.


KIRBI RATNER, Rincon Elementary

I wasn’t raised in Effingham County, but I had the opportunity to start a family and begin my teaching career in this incredible community. This decision lead me down a path of endless opportunities. Indeed, it was the best decision I’ve ever made for my family and my career.

Serving in my 16th year at Rincon Elementary, this school year brings new opportunities for me as the new school principal. What an honor! I am blown away with the support the students, parents, staff, and BOE offer. It’s going to be an incredible year.

What are your goals for the school year?

Due to the wonderful teachers, support staff, and leaders that have served before me, Rincon Elementary School has a strong history of success. I am committed to continue that tradition of excellence. Every moment counts. Every student matters. Working alongside my strong administrative team, I am confident that I have the BEST faculty and staff to get the job done.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

What an exciting year for RES! We are pleased to announce that we have added an agriculture class, led by Ashley Burns, for our students. I can’t think of a better year for our Bobcats to learn about food and natural resources.

What’s your favorite summer memory?

Summer is a beautiful time to enjoy family. Spending time with my husband and three children on the water brings joy, laughter, and renewed energy to me. It’s the simple things in life that bring beauty.

Would you like to add anything about COVID-19?

Most definitely, the COVID-19 pandemic brings challenges. As Bobcats, we are ready to tackle the year by spotting new opportunities and pouncing on those possibilities. That’s how gains are made. As always, we will get through this together and better. We are ready for the challenge.


AMIE DICKERSON, Effingham County High School

I have been married to Jamie Dickerson for 27 years. We have a daughter who is a senior at UGA and a son who is 17 and a senior at ECHS. I have had the awesome opportunity to work for Effingham County Board of Education for 24 years and truly love what I do.

What are your goals for the school year?

Goals for the upcoming year include providing a sense of security and safety for our students, faculty and staff, finding ways to link last year to this year both academically and socially and to continue to teach our students adversity and perseverance through the unexpected situations that may arise.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

We are planning ways to reach out to our community that will include special homecoming opportunities and businesses to show their support of ECHS and “paint it blue”.

What’s your favorite summer memory?

Relaxing in my pool with family and friends.

Would you like to add anything about COVID-19?

COVID-19 has provided many opportunities for us to excel in areas we did not realize were an option. Our teachers have learned more ways to teach and our students have found different ways to learn. Was it different? Absolutely. But even through a pandemic we will continue to strive to be the best educators supporting the best students.


DR. BRIGID NESMITH, Effingham College & Career Academy

This will be my 23rd year in education! I received my doctorate from Georgia Southern in 2018, and I’m excited to move from principal of SEMS to principal of ECCA. Travis Nesmith and I just celebrated our 20th Anniversary. My son Coleman is a senior at SEHS dual enrolling at GSU, and my daughter, Kiera, graduated from SEHS in 2019 and attends Piedmont College. She is a student assistant coach for women’s basketball. I also have four dogs.

What are your goals for the school year?

My goal is to build new relationships with staff, students and parents at ECCA. I also want to make the best educational decisions for all students given the pandemic affecting our nation and to create a safe and STEM focused learning environment where all students can be successful!

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

I want the community to know that ECCA is dedicated to the safety of all students and staff while also creating opportunities for students to grow in their ability to make STEM connections both within the STEM Academy and CTAE classes. We will have a school-wide STEM theme of water this year. Parents can expect for their student to make water connections in all content areas. Water will also be brought into STEM projects that will occur during Instructional Focus time. We will continue to support the STEM efforts of elementary and middle schools in Effingham County.

What’s your favorite summer memory?

My favorite summer memory was renting bikes with my family to ride around the Auburn campus and then having a great lemonade at Toomer’s.

Would you like to add anything about COVID-19?

We have missed students being in the halls and classrooms of our school. We can’t wait for their return! I want parents to know that regardless if they choose virtual or traditional learning, their students will continue to be an important part of our ECCA family! We will get through this together!


LESLIE DICKERSON, Marlow Elementary

This school year marks my 30th year in education and my 5th year as an elementary school principal. I have a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and an Educational Specialist Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. My husband, Henry Dickerson, teaches Law and Justice at ECHS after serving in the military for 32 years and 13 years with the Department of Natural Resources. My son, Trent, is a graduate of Ogeechee Technical College and is the Assistant Farm Manager at the Honey Ridge Agricenter. We are a family of educators and have a deep-rooted love for Effingham County and our schools!

What are your goals for the school year?

I have an uncompromising view that all students can learn, given a positive learning atmosphere that welcomes exploration and ways to enhance student confidence. I am excited to have students back in our classrooms and hallways filling them with energy and enthusiasm for learning. Our accomplishments at Marlow Elementary have been monumental and we will continue to focus on teaching, learning and maintaining the very best environment to make sure that happens.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

Our hope is to get to a point where we get to engage in our traditional community activities at school. We want to assure Mustang Nation that we will work to continue our reputation of providing a stellar environment for students to learn with all safety precautions in place. We ask for the full support of our parents in making sure students are healthy. We ask for grace and patience with the new protocols that are required of the school that will be put into place due to COVID-19. This will ensure that we all remain safe and healthy for all daily tasks.

What was your favorite summer memory?

My favorite event each summer is spending time camping with my family and friends. This allows time for me to relax, rejuvenate and focus on those that make my world complete!


TAMMY JACOBS, Ebenezer Middle School

I am a product of the Effingham County School System. I received my BS in Mathematics Education (2001) and my Master’s in Educational Leadership (2005) from Georgia Southern University. I received my Educational Specialist degree (2018) from Georgia College and State University. I worked as a math teacher at SEHS from 2001-2007, an assistant principal/testing coordinator at SEHS from 2007-2012, the instructional supervisor at SEHS from 2012-2018, and the principal at Ebenezer Middle School from 2018-present. I have a wonderful, supportive family: My mother, JoAnn Hathaway, who was an educator for over 25 years and is now loving retirement; my sister, Tonja Hathaway, who is one of the hardest working and loving individuals on this planet; my husband, Bryan Jacobs, who is extremely understanding with the demands of my job, and my five-year-old twin boys, Isaac and Asher, who are my greatest accomplishments.

What are your goals for the school year?

There is so much uncertainty in store for this school year; however, one aspect that will remain as always is the fact that EMS faculty and staff will continue to offer purposeful and meaningful instruction to our students. Our goal each school year is to provide a safe and welcoming environment to our students, to provide timely information to our parents, and to involve our community as much as we can.

What’s happening this year that you would like the community to know?

We are really excited to start a STEM initiative with some of our eighth-grade classes this year. EMS will be asking for input from the community, so stay tuned!

What’s your favorite summer memory?

My favorite summer memory was spending time with my precious family at the beach. Would you like to add anything about COVID-19? I would like to commend the students, faculty, and staff at EMS! We are facing unprecedented times for this school year; however, I have complete confidence in the ECSD plan of action, and I appreciate our Board of Education for looking at all avenues and making the decisions that are best for our students, parents, faculty, and staff.


DR. PAIGE DICKEY: “All Children Can Learn”

𝐁𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬?

“Be kind always and treat others the way you want to be treated”

𝐁𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬?

“If I could impart one thing to parents, it would be to please find 10 to 20 minutes and read with your child every day. Reading to a child every day is not just academic, it provides a great one-on-one time to give all our attention to our child.”

𝐁𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬?

“Continue to build positive relationships with the students and their parents. Parents are entrusting us with the most important being in their lives every day, they are trusting us to take care of them. We need to always approach students in a loving way, so that the kids, and parents, know we want what is best for them. “

𝐁𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮?

“On a bad day go talk with Pre-K students, because you are always a rock star in Pre-K! Outside of your family no one likes you like a four-year-old does" Paige says, “I tried to read to PK every Friday, and I hope to continue doing so because it is always a favorite time of mine. They are so eager to learn everything.”

After a career in education spanning thirty years Paige says “I wanted to work with children, and I wanted to make a positive difference. I feel like I have achieved that, and it has been wonderful.”

𝐍𝐞𝐱𝐭 𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐩?

Paige started working part time in real estate three years ago. “I grew up with contractors, builders and realtors throughout my family and I have always thought I would eventually join that business. In Effingham County,  we moved to seven different homes all within ten miles of each other before settling in our forever home 12 years ago,  so when I was looking at houses for sale over the Christmas Break just for fun a few years ago,  my husband said, ‘you should get your real estate license because we don’t want to move again.  You can help other people find and sell homes. I followed his advice and I love it.” She became a member of the prestigious Savannah Area Realtors Distinguished Sales Society her first year. These days you can find Paige at Coldwell Banker Intercoastal Realty where she is busy helping people achieve their housing dreams.


Paige’s husband, Travis Dickey, is the Principal at Effingham County Middle School and they have four children, Brittany 23 years old, Walker 17 years old, Conner 15 years old, and Alexis 11 years old.  Paige says “The kids love roller coasters, so we enjoy visiting theme parks so they can ride the roller-coasters. We also like spending time at the beach each summer, but our favorite place to be is at home. That is when we are all the happiest.” She says "Education and real estate are a lot alike. It is all about building relationships and getting to know people. I love hearing their stories and helping families find exactly what they want.”

𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙀𝙛𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙝𝙖𝙢 𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙪𝙣𝙞𝙩𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙠𝙨 𝘿𝙧. 𝙋𝙖𝙞𝙜𝙚 𝘿𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙚𝙮 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙙𝙚𝙫𝙤𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙨𝙚𝙧𝙫𝙞𝙘𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙬𝙞𝙨𝙝𝙚𝙨 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙞𝙣 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙣𝙚𝙭𝙩 𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙥 𝙞𝙣 𝙡𝙞𝙛𝙚.


Laura Osborne Chosen as STEM Teacher of the Year for Local AFA Savannah Chapter and for State of Georgia

Laura Osborne, 5th grade teacher at Sand Hill Elementary School in Effingham County, GA, has received two special honors from the Air Force Association. She has been named STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Teacher of the Year for the Savannah Chapter of the Air Force Association (AFA) and also AFA STEM Teacher of the Year for the state of Georgia.

“The Air Force Association believes STEM teachers shape the future of our nation by introducing students to exciting new concepts and offering a glimpse into what is possible,” said Ed Hood, President, Savannah AFA Chapter 137. “Along with grants and scholarships, recognizing those who educate America’s youth is an important aspect of what AFA is all about. The AFA’s Teacher of the Year program provides an excellent platform for teacher recognition.”

Osborne is involved with many STEM activities to include sponsoring her school’s STEM Club, coaching their award winning Science Olympiad team, and creating project based learning activities to engage her students.

“For the past six years, an average of 90 third through fifth grade children have stayed after school once a month to participate in our STEM Club,” said Osborne. “Those projects have included constructing paper airplanes with a discussion of the forces that act upon a plane, building bridges and towers with various materials to understand the engineering design process, using multiples of numbers to create artwork, producing origami to review angles and shapes, and creating student-safe weapons such as marshmallow catapults and crossbows to discover how forces and trajectory affect projectiles.

Students are eager to come in each month to find out “What are we doing this month?” Savannah AFA Chapter 137 will host an award ceremony for Mrs. Osborne at a time in the near future when it is safe to gather in large numbers.