Friday, November 8, 2002

Thanks to Some of PeachStar's Star Teachers

The 2002-2003 school year is well underway and we are fast approaching the season of Thanksgiving. At this special time of year, the staff of PeachStar Education Services would like to take an opportunity to offer our thanks to all of the educators across Georgia for whom and with whom we work. The mission of PeachStar is to provide high quality educational resources that enrich, inform, and support the Georgia learning community, and we rely upon Georgia educators, as the main conduit for education in the state, to serve as our main point of contact with learners in the K-12 population.

Over the years, educators in Georgia have come to recognize PeachStar as a forerunner in the field of educational technology and content, but what you may not know, is the important role played by educators like yourselves in much of the work PeachStar does. In addition to serving as liaisons between PeachStar and the classroom, several educators have dedicated themselves to working with PeachStar staff on the development of the resources we provide to Georgia learners.

In this article, we will acknowledge three of the educators who have demonstrated their commitment to learning in Georgia by joining PeachStar in multiple projects designed to enhance classroom learning and educator professional development. Each of these educators, representing the elementary, middle, and high school levels, has devoted hundreds of hours of her time to the creation of PeachStar resources, including the review of content and alignment of it with Georgia's curriculum framework, the redesign of the PeachStar broadcast schedule to follow the order of instruction in Georgia classrooms, and the creation of professional development resources such as Workshop In A Box.

Peggy Coffey is a National Board Certified fifth-grade teacher at Kanoheda Elementary School in Gwinnett County. During her tenure as a Georgia teacher, she has taught all grade levels between preschool and grade eight, earned a Master's Degree, an Education Specialist Degree, and is currently pursuing her doctorate. Peggy first joined forces with PeachStar in 2000, as part of the QCC Correlation Program, PeachStar's initiative to correlate our video library to the QCC standards. After receiving training onsite at PeachStar, Peggy continued working with two other teachers off-site one night a week to view and correlate videos. According to Peggy, " I liked the friendly professional people at PeachStar and found the information I learned very valuable. I feel what I learn during the summer and one night a week carries over into my classroom and improves my students' learning." Peggy has continued her work with PeachStar through such initiatives as the 2001 Teacher-In-Residence program, the 2002 Educator-In-Residence program, and the development of the new PeachStar broadcast schedule.

Judy Cox is a seventh and eighth grade earth and life science teacher at Dodgen Middle School in Cobb County. During her 18 years as a classroom teacher, she has earned both her Master's and Specialist Degrees in Education. For the last seven years she has taught gifted and talented students on the middle school level. Judy first joined the devoted group of PeachStar teachers in 2001 when she came to Atlanta to participate in the Workshop In A Box program. She has worked with a triad of teachers as part of the QCC Correlation Project to correlate PeachStar's content rich programming to the Georgia QCCs. During spring 2002, Judy led her triad in the development of a lesson plan to be used by Georgia teachers for The Secret Seashore, a GPTV original production. Over the summer of 2002, Judy joined curriculum directors and other teachers like herself in an effort to redesign the PeachStar broadcast schedule so that it is in sequence with curriculum instruction in Georgia classrooms. Judy feels that her work with PeachStar has allowed her "a richness of experience and professional development" that she can share with "both students and colleagues." She considers herself "fortunate on many levels to be involved with PeachStar Education Services," and "looks forward to PeachStar programs expanding as we continue to help improve education for students all over our state."


Peggy White serves as the Special Education Department Chairperson and Senior Class Advisor for Shaw High School in Muscogee County. During her 19 years of teaching in the state of Georgia she has earned Master's and Specialist Degrees in Education and is currently a candidate for National Board Certification. Peggy began her work with PeachStar in 2000 with the QCC Correlation Program and has continued to be part of PeachStar initiatives ever since. She participated in the 2001 Teacher-In-Residence program and the 2002 Educator-In-Residence program as well as performing additional consulting work for PeachStar. Additionally, Peggy serves as a facilitator for PeachStar's Annenberg Professional Development offerings. Peggy believes that as a teacher, it is her responsibility to continue learning herself. In fact, she even tells future teachers that "once as a teacher you quit learning, then it is time to quit teaching." According to Peggy, "PeachStar has opened a new avenue of learning for me. The availability of programs have aided my students by allowing the use of multiple modalities in learning."

In addition to their active participation in PeachStar educational initiatives, each of these educators has served as a PeachStar ambassador in her local education community. Every day, these teachers lead by example through their incorporation of PeachStar programming and resources into classroom instruction. They serve as PeachStar advocates, sharing their positive experiences with colleagues and administrators at conferences as well as in daily interaction. Their willingness to be featured in Pipeline Magazine offers every educator across Georgia the opportunity to witness firsthand the kind of impact PeachStar can have on teaching and learning in Georgia.

Thanks again to Peggy Coffey, Judy Cox, and Peggy White for being outstanding educators and devoted supporters of PeachStar in the classroom. The impact that the involvement of educators such as these has on the shape and focus of PeachStar endeavors could never be stressed enough.