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Effingham educators complete Ed.S. degrees
A group of Effingham County educators completed the degree requirements for the Educational Specialist program at Lincoln Memorial University. Pictured above with the Copper Basin High School cougar in Ducktown, Tenn., are (left to right): Brad Arrington, history, ECHS; Meredith Arrington, agriculture, ECHS; Sherry Duff, work-based learning coordinator, ECHS; Jenni DeLoach, math, ECHS; Ashley Kieffer, business logistics management director, ECCA; Rhonda Shearouse, media specialist, ECHS; Jennifer Peavy, reading recovery, GES; Tracy Kieffer, assistant principal, RES; Billy Hughes, principal, ECMS; Charlotte Connelly, principal, GES; and Bonnie Pritcher, early childhood education, ECHS. - photo by Photo provided

“Begin with the end in mind.”

This Stephen Covey quote may be used to describe the initial focus of a group of Effingham County educators who in June of 2011 began their quest toward July 14, 2012.

Taking on the role of students in the Educational Specialist degree program at Lincoln Memorial University, the real goal was July 14 as “July 14 = done” had become an unofficial motto among them.

For the past 13 months, this group of faculty and administrators has been part of a larger group – Ducktown A.

Ducktown, Tenn., and more specifically, Copper Basin High School, was their physical destination. Ducktown is one of 12 extended sites where LMU classes are held.

Classes meet monthly during the school year and twice a month during the summer. LMU Ed.S. students, working to complete either Educational Administration and Supervision or Curriculum and Instruction degree programs, are involved in a wide variety of learning experiences and complete a host of rigorous educational requirements in the 30 semester-hour program.

While they read and critiqued books on ways to better themselves as educators, opportunities to put these ideas into practice also arose. The importance of relationship building with students, parents and the community was a recurring topic.

Not only did the Effingham County members of Ducktown A have opportunities to build and strengthen relationships among themselves, they also established relationships with other Ducktown A students from North Carolina and several school systems throughout Georgia. These educators look forward to incorporating the new information and insight gained through the Ed. S. program to make their schools and classrooms better places for their students and themselves to learn and grow.

In fulfilling the degree requirements for the LMU Educational Specialist program, the dedicated educators accomplished many educational expectations and realized the great advantages to cohort learning and strengthened relationships with professional peers.

Rather than sitting back and basking in this accomplishment, they are looking forward to the rapidly approaching school year and will continue to lead the youth within their individual spheres of influence toward academic excellence and personal achievement.