New teachers ready for school in Houston County

awoolen@macon.comJuly 31, 2013 

BackToSchool

First-year teacher Taylor Way is one of 130 new teachers in Houston County who will start their first day of class Thursday. Way, who was once a student in the Houston County school system, will teach at Bonaire Middle School.

JASON VORHEES — jvorhees@macon.com Buy Photo

PERRY -- Taylor Way is a product of Houston County schools. This year, she is fulfilling her dream of being a teacher in the district that gave her an education.

Way, 22, is one of 130 new teachers who will start their first day of class Thursday. She will teach sixth-grade math at Bonaire Middle School.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” Way said.

It was a natural decision as both of her parents were teachers.

Her mother, Robin Way, teaches at Bonaire Middle and has started keeping a journal of teaching tips for her daughter’s first year.

The younger Way hopes to give her students a love of math from the start.

“It is important to make math connect with them,” she said.

Way, along with other new teachers, attended an orientation July 19 at Perry Middle School, where they were introduced to the system’s board members and learning staff.

Each new teacher is assigned a mentor in the school to assist them during the year, said Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Mark Scott.

He credits the system’s 96 percent retention rate as proof that their methods work to keep teachers in Houston County.

Amanda Brown and Michelle Behel are both new teachers at Hilltop Elementary School. Both applied for positions in Houston County for a couple of years after they obtained their teaching licenses.

“They have a good reputation of being one of the best school systems in the state,” said Brown, a first-grade teacher from Elbert County.

Behel, a third-grade teacher, graduated from Perry High School in 2006. She has been applying to work in Houston schools for four years.

Houston County “has a real close community and a good support system, which makes it a system that draws people here,” Behel said.

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