In recognition of the important role that excellent teachers play in the lives of students, Clayton State University, along with its Department of Teacher Education, has established the Teacher Excellence Recognition Initiative (TERI). This initiative is designed to annually recognize two high school teachers from Clayton County Public Schools who demonstrate excellence in teaching and exemplify the Clayton State learning experience; empowering, engaging, inclusive and supportive; in their own classrooms.
On Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, Anna Cox of Jonesboro High School was presented with one of the two initial TERI Awards by Clayton State President Dr. Thomas Hynes.
Fellow TERI Award winner Jennifer Henley of Morrow High School will be presented with her award on Monday, Sept. 22.
Each yearly TERI recipient will receive a $1000 stipend plus $250 to be used for classroom materials. These awards are made possible through the generosity of the Jack and Sherry Hancock Clayton County High School Faculty Recognition Collaborative, in conjunction with the Clayton State University Annual Professorship Program. Jack Hancock is a Clayton State University Foundation board member, and an attorney with the law firm Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP.
“The education of our youth is the key to the success of our nation,” says Hancock.
"Most teachers do not go into the profession because of the tangible rewards of money or fame. We love teaching and we love watching our students grow and achieve. A thank you note from a parent or an email from a former student has worked the magic of keeping many good teachers going for years,” says Dr. Ruth Caillouet, chair of the Clayton State Department of Teacher Education and professor of English Education. “But, we are very thankful to be able to be a part of this amazing opportunity. The Teacher Excellence Recognition Initiative will reward Clayton County Public School high school teachers for the truly excellent work they do in the classroom every day."
Cox, a Latin teacher and chair of the World Language Department at Jonesboro High School, is no stranger to Clayton State. After earning her English degree at the University of Georgia, she became Clayton State’s very first masters graduate, earning her Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) on Dec. 11, 2008.
While earning a MALS degree and the TERI award from Clayton State are significant honors, they do not represent Cox’ only notable achievements. Along with her husband and fellow Jonesboro High School teacher Andrew Cox, she is also the most accomplished Mock Trial coach in the state of Georgia, leading the Jonesboro Mock Trial Team to four State Championships and two National Championships over the years. She is also a former (2007) Clayton County Teacher of the Year.
TERI donor Jack Hancock has more than 30 years of experience in governmental and corporate liability. He is a successful and accomplished trial and appellate lawyer who received his B.B.A. and his J.D. from the University of Georgia. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, serving as legal counsel and chair, and served on the Board of Directors of the Regional Business Coalition.
Nominations for the TERI awards may come from the teachers themselves, a peer, a principal, or a Clayton State University faculty member. The award application includes a letter of nomination with a detailed description of outstanding, innovative, and engaging classroom or school-wide practices that positively influence student performance, submitted to the school principal where the teacher is employed. Each high school principal reviews the nominations from his/her school and submits no more than one nomination to the Clayton State University Office of the Provost. A Clayton State selection committee chosen by the Provost evaluates all nominations and then selects two teachers from the 10 nominations for the award.