Hannah Bennett, sixth grade science teacher at Waycross Middle School, has been selected as a Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP) Ambassador for the Okefenokee Regional Education Service Agency (RESA). GaTAPP is an alternative certification program for individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university and who want to become teachers but did not complete a teacher education program. These individuals gain a teaching position then take a variety of courses through their local RESA which culminate in the obtainment of a professional teaching certificate.
Ms. Bennett, who received her degree in Psychology from Georgia Southern University, was selected from a large group of GaTAPP candidates participating in the Okefenokee RESA GaTAPP program. The Ambassador program recognizes GaTAPP teachers who are having a positive impact on student learning in their classrooms and who their advisors believe will become the teacher leaders of tomorrow’s schools. Ms. Bennett’s selection reflects not only her leadership qualities but also the growth her students have demonstrated and her commitment to the goals at Waycross Middle School.
As a GaTAPP Ambassador, Ms. Bennett will serve as a role model for other non-traditional certification candidates and will attend a conference where she will share her experiences with other GaTAPP ambassadors from around the state as well as receiving more in depth training in collaborative learning, technology in the classroom, student engagement, evidence based best practices, differentiation, and teacher leadership.
The principal at Waycross Middle School, David Hitt, said of Bennett “It is quite obvious that this apple fell very close to the tree (Hannah's mother is Dr. Sonya Bennett, Director of Student Achievement for Ware County Schools). Hannah already demonstrates qualities we normally find only in veteran teachers, and her strong commitment to our students and our profession is on display every day in her classroom.”
Left to Right: Cindy Hitt, OKRESA ELA Specialist, Hannah Bennett, Principal David Hitt.