Lindsay Theaker celebrates as 2016-17 NC Teacher of the Year


Kat Shambaugh

Students from across Cobb County celebrate in the Roswell Street Baptist Church worship center while cheerleaders pep up the crowd and the Harrison High School marching band plays.

Kat Shambaugh, Copy editor, Photo editor

The Cobb County School District awarded NC Honors American Literature teacher and Newspaper adviser Lindsay Theaker with Teacher of the Year for the 2016-2017 season at the 28th annual ceremony at Roswell Street Baptist Church on Tuesday, October 25.

The district awards one teacher from each school in Cobb and Marietta, as well as post-secondary facilities, as the Teacher of the Year after a round of voting by staff in each institution. The school winners then apply for the district level; the Marietta School District chooses one final winner and the Cobb School District chooses three — one from elementary, middle, and high school. The teachers then celebrate in a ceremony the next fall.

“Cobb County is fortunate to be a place where everyone can live and work and join together to celebrate education,” Jenn Hobby, a DJ with local radio station Star 94.1 and emcee of the event, said. “Cobb is the only place in the world that we are aware of that places teachers’ handprints in marble, celebrates them with a breakfast, and cheers them on with a pep rally like this one. The best place in the world to get an education is right here.”

Students from across the county filled the church’s worship center and sang along to music as they waited for the event to start. Cheerleaders from each school lined the auditorium and performed while the Harrison High School marching band played.

“It was an amazing feeling to be able to cheer for Mrs. Theaker as she walked across the stage. It was an honorable moment and I’m glad I got to be there to support such a great teacher,” cheerleader and senior Kelli Kelley said.

Theaker chose ten students from her classes to accompany her to the ceremony. Students made heartfelt posters and cheered from the stands with NC spirit gear.

Seniors Bethel Mamo, Melissa Sagaseta, and Karsyn McCluskey design posters to cheer with at the event.
Seniors Bethel Mamo, Melissa Sagaseta, and Karsyn McCluskey design posters to cheer with at the event.

“For me, this experience felt so much more powerful and emotional because I had students standing by my side,” Theaker said. “I really love what I do but it’s really the students that make my job so rewarding; watching them grow as writers, readers, and thinkers is completely awe-inspiring.”

Theaker’s family also attended the event, and joined her, Magnet Adviser David Stephenson, Clerk Lisa Kappel, and the students at lunch afterwards at Chicken and the Egg. The group shared love for Theaker and stories of her teaching experience as mementos for the event.

“I was so happy to honor Mrs. Theaker because she deserves it so much,” former student and senior Bethel Mamo said. “She is such a sweet person and amazing teacher. I had a fun time celebrating with her and her family; it was a huge gathering and she really deserved it.”