About Us » Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year

2022-2023  Erica Thomas
Ms. Erica Thomas has taught Career, Technical and Agriculture Education Business at Mitchell County High School within the Mitchell County School System for the past five years.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and will complete her Master’s degrees from Strayer University in December. Ms. Thomas lives by the Nelson Mandela quote “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and “Young people must take it upon themselves to ensuErica Thomasre that they receive the highest education possible so that they can represent us well in the future as future leaders.”  She strives to help her students achieve their goals each and every day.  Ms. Thomas played basketball for the ASU Lady Rams and was a member of SIFE.  She was also recognized in the 2022 “Rural Leader 40 Under 40” program.  Ms. Thomas is very active in her school and extracurricular activities.  Currently, she is the FBLA advisor, Assistant Varsity Basketball coach, Head Volleyball coach, Dance Team advisor, Events Committee chair, Homecoming coordinator, Prom Committee chair, and Student Council advisor. According to Ms. Thomas, she helps her students believe that “there’s a business inside all of us, strive to make it happen.” 


2021-2022 Tanisha Oliver
Ms. Tanisha Oliver has taught history and science for grades 6-12 at Mitchell County High School and Mitchell County Middle School for the past 15 years.  She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Albany State University and her Educational Specialist’s degree from W
T Oliver
alden University. Ms. Oliver believes that “students have the greatest stake in their education but little to no say in how it is delivered. This lack of agency represents a lost opportunity to accelerate learning and prepare students for a world in which taking initiative and learning new skills are increasingly paramount to success.”  She has implemented a “Finding Free Space” activity each week into her lessons.  Once a week, she has students participate in debates, discussion, and inquiry about various topics.  Comfort, trust, respect, and consideration are the only rules in place.  The rest of the space and discussion is exactly as it implies – free.  The expression, drive, and thought processes are allowed to flourish when students trust the learning experience.  Questions or topics are welcomed and discussed with a rigor unfounded within standard instructional practices.  Free space allows for confidence, knowledge, and character to grow within all students.   Ms. Oliver is currently the 10th Grade Chairperson, MCHS Volleyball Coach, and Student Council Advisor.  She believes “Student Council implements and shapes leaders of tomorrow…students are able to share ideas, interests, and concerns with the school-wide community”.  According to Ms. Oliver, “we live in a time where learning is more important than ever. Knowledge can come from anywhere and everywhere.”


2019-2020 ---Gail Hawkins
Gail Hawkins
Ms. Hawkins has taught mathematics for grades 8-12 at MCHS, her alma mater, for the past 26 years.  She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Albany State University.  From a young age, Ms. Hawkins always loved working with children and enjoys helping them grow in character and knowledge.  She has received extensive training in the Learning Management System within Synergy and incorporating technology into her classroom through Google tools, Chrome books, and Mimeo white boards. Ms. Hawkins has also been an after-school tutor, cheerleading coach, coordinator for the “Big Sis, Lil Sis” camp during summers, and volunteer with the youth group at St. Peter Church in Camilla. With her guidance, the youth group has visited nursing homes, cleaned roadside areas, and collected can goods for the needy.  Ms. Hawkins believes that doing the work necessary to help children makes not only her, but all teachers, outstanding.  Doing this work means that sometimes you are a surrogate mom, counselor, supplier of materials, and a taxi driver all rolled into one…because being a math teacher is not just teaching math, it’s  supplying the needs of the whole child.  She always tries to do what’s best for her students and not hold yesterday’s mistakes against them today because we all fall short sometimes and deserve compassion and second chances. 



2017-2018 Martha Borra: 
M Borra
Martha Borra has taught advanced science at MCHS for the past nine years. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Vanitha-Osmania University and her Specialist degree from Columbus State University. From a young age, Ms. Borra wanted to become a teacher for the purpose of helping children feel comfortable asking questions and mastering difficult topics. She has received extensive training in the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program, which helps teachers implement components of engineering, computer science, and biomedical science into the classroom.  Ms. Borra stated that “…teaching is the noblest profession as we prepare students to face a complex and competitive world. We teach students the basics skills of life and how to be successful.”
2016-2017 Josh Zeigler
Mr. Zeigler has taught health and special education at MCHS for the past four years. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of West Georgia and Master’s degree from Valdosta State University. Mr. Zeigler’s  family’s career choice is education and he decided to continue the tradition of being an educator. He feels his greatest contribution to education is making a positive impact on each and every student. He completed certification as a National Board teacher in 2013. Mr. Zeigler is a member of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) and has received training in the Georgia Alternative Assessment (GAA), Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) initiative and Reading Horizons. Mr. Zeigler was also appointed as the MCHS head baseball coach, MCHS assistant football coach, and physical activity coordinator at Three O’clock Rock, an after-school program. In the community, he has been an active member/alumnus of Kappa Alpha Order – Zeta Kappa Chapter and d was named Alumnus of the Year in 2014. Mr. Zeigler stated that “Teaching is a career that can be defined as a personal responsibility to further perpetuate the success of our society as a whole.” When educating students, it is very important to remember that students come from all different types of backgrounds and it is the role of the teacher to create a learning environment in which all students are given an equal opportunity to learn and be successful.