Troup County's top teacher uses creativity to help students succeed

Troup County's top teacher uses creativity to help students succeed

TROUP COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - May 4 through 8 was Teacher's Appreciation Week around the country.

Many teachers face difficulties in and outside the classroom that may have an impact on their job. Furlough Days and pay scales are some of the contributing factors that every school system faces.

Michelle Ashmore, Teacher of the Year in Troup County for 2016, said she goes above and beyond to make sure her students are getting the best education possible. What makes her so worthy of this title is her way of taking her teaching outside the classroom.

"I like to do things incredibly out of the box, to try new ways of teaching and get kids to thinking in different ways," said Ashmore.

She takes pride in making sure her students are top notch in her class. As a teacher of 12 years, there are some challenges with her job.

"The perfect lesson plan is not necessarily how things happen, we have to take into consideration all 25-30 individual students' backgrounds and what's going on in their life," said Ashmore.

Being a teacher takes heart, creativity and determination. While balancing those qualities, teachers also make adjustments in other areas.

"There are new state mandated tests, new requirements and also a new evaluation system. So those all coming down from the state at one time really kind of put a strain on our teachers," said Yolanda Stephen, Director of PR for Troup County Schools.

Teachers are also paid based on their education level in Troup County. The starting salary for a teacher with a Bachelor's degree is $34,742.00-thousand dollars. A teacher can make up to $50,000 yearly with a doctorate's degree.

"Our pay scale in Troup County is comparable to other county around the system. Here we are a close knit family and we like to provide options for our teachers. Now having those two furloughs days are something that we have currently but we're trying to scale back on," said Stephen.

Despite those issues, the advanced placement Government and Economics teacher say it was a surreal experience to be honored by her community.

"Incredibly humbling to be recognized by such an amazing faculty and staff," said Ashmore.

Not only was Ashmore named Teacher of the Year for the county in March, but she was also named Teacher of the Year for Troup County High School in February.

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