Pre-K Teacher at CGTC Child Development Center Named State Teacher of the Year Finalist

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Heather Williams of Central Georgia Technical College’s (CGTC) Larry O’Neal Child Development Center (CDC) Georgia Pre-K Program is one of six finalists for Teacher of the Year for 2019-2020, named recently by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL).

Williams, a teacher with the Center for a decade, learned she was a finalist with a surprise visit to her classroom from DECAL representatives and CALi, the official mascot dog of the department.

“Being selected as a finalist for Pre-K Teacher of the Year is a huge honor,” she said. “For the past ten years, I have been teaching at the CGTC Child Development Center on the Warner Robins campus; eight of those years have been as a Pre-K Lead Teacher.”

“During my college career, I spent a great deal of time researching and exploring the various careers in the study of child development.  As a Pre-K teacher, I have learned to build positive relationships with the children and their families because children learn best when they feel safe and valued. As an experienced educator, I strive to represent Georgia’s Pre-K Program as Teacher of the Year.”

The College, Center leadership, her colleagues, and of course the children she instructs, extend congratulations on her recognition.

The Georgia Foundation for Early Care and Learning awarded each finalist $500. This fall, DECAL will determine a winner from the finalists, awarding winners in public and private Pre-K categories.

The CDC on the Warner Robins campus offers three Georgia lottery-funded pre-k classrooms, one inclusion classroom, and a 3-year old classroom.

Staffed by educators who have Early Childhood degrees and experience providing care and education for young children, the Center also serves as a lab environment for the Early Child Care and Education program of the College. By observing, documenting, assessing children’s development and facilitating experiences as required by their instructors, students gain practical knowledge of classroom operations to enhance theoretical knowledge.