2021-2022 System Teacher of the Year

  • Mike Carey is awarded System TOTY at Convocation.

    The Hart County Charter System is excited to announce its System Teacher of the Year, Mr. Mike Carey.

    A 22-year teaching veteran in the Construction trades, HVAC, Electrical, Carpentry, and Plumbing, Carey is currently a Construction teacher at Hart County High School and a Welding instructor. Students have an opportunity to earn college credit through his classes.

    “First of all, Mike Carey is a top notch person. He is first class in all that he does. He has an incredible work ethic and he cares about quality work. Those traits are hard to find. He wants his students to succeed in life. He doesn't look at teaching as a job, he looks at it like he is giving back to our community,” Superintendent Jay Floyd said.

    Carey is a Hartwell native and attended Hart County Schools growing up. He also attended the University of Georgia, Athens Technical College, North Georgia Technical College and served in the United States Navy/Marine Corps.

    “The motivation that inspires me to teach I would have to say is the ability to help a student to succeed in life. To be able to guide a young person towards a career that will help him do well for himself or family. It’s hard to beat that,” Carey said.

    Carey said being selected as the System Teacher of the Year is leaving him feeling “overwhelmed.” In 2009, he was chosen by the STAR student to be the STAR teacher, but said he was “shocked” to learn he was the System Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made in front of his peers at Convocation, which gathers every employee in the school system before the new year begins.

    “Only thing I can say is that I’m overwhelmed and blessed,” Carey said. “I’ve just tried to do my job the best I know how and to treat my students like they were my own.”

    Around the Hart College and Career Academy, Carey’s students are known as “Coach Carey’s Boys/Girls” and administrators have taken note of the strong relationships he cultivates with his students.

    “Relationships with students are important in education and Mr. Carey does an excellent job with that. He has helped so many students not only in his classroom but outside as well. His work in his classroom as well as Welding through ATC (Athens Technical College) is impacting our community,” Hart County High School Principal Kevin Gaines said.

    Carey said there are many times when he is proud of current or former students. He often hears from many of them after they graduate.

    “They will call, text or contact me through social media about where they are working, a promotion they have received or even a call just to see ‘How you doing coach?’,” Carey said.

    Six of his students recently received their technical college certification in welding through the Hart College and Career Academy, earning them college credit, and multiple former students of his have landed jobs with local industries.

    "Mike Carey has the ability to connect and build relationships as good as anyone. I've never met a student that didn't approach him with eye contact and a strong handshake. He teaches our students employability and soft skills that prepare them for a successful future and at the end of the day, our students respect that about Mike. They would run through a brick wall for him,” Hart College and Career Academy CEO Brooks Mewborn said.

    Mike’s wife, Allisa Carey, served as the Hart County School System Lead Nurse for 25 years before retiring two years ago. Carey also has an adult son and daughter who followed similar career paths to Carey’s.

    “January 2021, the Georgia District 2 Public Health asked my wife to come out of retirement to assist with the COVID-19 vaccinations. Her response was ‘Yes’ without any hesitation,” Carey said. My Son Joshua Carey is an Industrial Engineer and works in Duluth, Georgia. He was one of my ‘Construction Boys.’ Michaela Carey, my daughter, is also an educator in Forsyth, Georgia. I’ve been blessed to have both my son and daughter to follow in a career that is related to mine.”

    Outside of school, Carey’s biggest hobby is his horses. His family has a horse and cattle farm.

    “We have been raising, showing and riding horses for over 25 years. This passion for horses is also shared by my daughter where not only she is an educator but also an equestrian riding instructor,” Carey said.

    All-in-all, Carey said he’s been blessed over the years.

    “To have a career in the same town you’re born/raised and become an educator at the same school I attended? Well I’ve come full circle. I’ve only taught at Hart County and had some of the best coworkers you could ask for. As for my students, heck when you spend up to 4 years with them 5 day a week, 10 months out of the year they become yours and you want the best life can offer for them. I’ve had tremendous support from family, friends and students. As for my teaching, credit has to go to God for leading and opening doors for me,” Carey said.


2021-2022 Teachers of the Year

  • The Hart County Charter System is thrilled to announce a new class of Teachers of the Year for 2021-2022. Marc Roberts, an 8th grade math teacher with 22 years of teaching experience, was named Hart County Middle School's Teacher of the Year. For Hart County High School, Construction teacher and ATC Welding instructor Mike Carey, who has 22 years of teaching experience, was named Teacher of the Year. ESOL teacher Christina Weir, who has 10 years of teaching experience, was named Teacher of the Year for North Hart Elementary. Hartwell Elementary Special Education teacher Sharon Davis, a 33-year teaching veteran, was named their school's Teacher of the Year. Second-grade teacher Crystal Kearns, who has been teaching for 23 years, was named South Hart Elementary's Teacher of the Year.

    These five teachers will move on to an interview process, and a system Teacher of the Year will be named at Convocation on July 28 at the Fine Arts Center.

    In order to be eligible for Teacher of the Year recognition, teachers are nominated and voted upon their peers and principal, and should be a certified classroom teacher in public pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, including special education, physical education, art, music, media specialists and ROTC teachers. They also are teachers who inspire students, are dedicated and skilled in active teaching, play an active role in the community and are respected by both students and their parents.

2020-2021 Teacher of the Year

  •  Hart County Charter System is excited to announced the new class of Teachers of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year!

    Jenny Martin, a special education teacher, has been named the Teacher of the Year for Hartwell Elementary School. Emilee Patrick, a 5th grade English and Language Arts teacher, has been named Teacher of the Year for North Hart Elementary School. Kathleen Teel, a Tier Intervention teacher for RTI/MTSS, has been named Teacher of the Year for South Hart Elementary School. Earl Fouch, a 6th grade math teacher, has been named Teacher of the Year for Hart County Middle School. Christie Simpson, a science teacher, has been named Teacher of the Year for Hart County High School.

    These five teachers will move on to an interview process with judges from various counties within the state, on November 4, and a Teacher of the Year for the county school system will then be named at a Teacher of the Year luncheon on November 15.

    In order to be eligible for Teacher of the Year recognition, teachers are nominated and voted upon their peers and principal, and should be a certified classroom teacher in public pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, including special education, physical education, art, music, media specialists and ROTC teachers. They also are teachers who inspire students, are dedicated and skilled in active teaching, play an active role in the community and are respected by both students and their parents.

    Update: On November 15, Hart County High School Teacher of the Year Christie Simpson was named as the district-wide Teacher of the Year in Hart County! She will now move on to submit an application to be a nominee for Georgia’s Overall Teacher of the Year. Congratulations, Mrs. Simpson!

    TOTY 2020