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South Hart Elementary School Teacher of the Year: Kimberly Ayers


Kimberly Ayers, South Hart Elementary Teacher of the Year

Where are you from and where did you go to school?

I am from Hartwell, GA. I went to Hart County High School, and Piedmont College (with both a Bachelors, and Masters degrees, and Ed.S.)

How long have you been teaching, and in what areas have you taught? Where all have you taught?

This is my fifth year teaching. I have taught all content areas. I taught one year of STEM and just started my fourth year teaching in Kindergarten, all at South Hart Elementary School.

What was your motivation for becoming a teacher?

My motivation for teaching was instilled in me by my kindergarten teacher. I wanted to grow up and be just like her. I have always had a passion for helping others and found my outlet to do so by teaching students all that I can.

What is your favorite subject to teach?

My favorite subject to teach would have to be math because I have always had a love for math. Reading and writing are a close second because in kindergarten I am able to watch my students come into my room at the beginning of the year knowing none or few letters and sounds, and most of my students leave me as readers and writers, which is heartwarming!

When not in the classroom, what are your hobbies or what do you like to do in your free time?

When I am not in the classroom, I am usually working on classroom stuff. Seriously though, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. My favorite hobby is golf, which most find surprising when they meet me.

Can you tell us about a moment in your teacher career that really hit home and made you proud to be a teacher?

There is not just one moment in my career that has hit home. It is every time I am teaching my students something new and they seem discouraged, but continue working hard to master new skills. I am able to see the little light shine in their minds and they are overcome with a huge smile knowing that they have finally been successful in learning what he/she has been working so hard on.

If you could give advice to a first year teacher, what would you tell them?

Remember that your students are all different and are someone’s baby, so be sure to do all that you can for them. Be sure to build strong relationships with students and parents from day one, it will make those tough moments easier. Take each day one day at a time.

What is the best advice you were ever given about being an educator?

Do not judge your teaching career off of the first 7 years because it is tough, but you can do it. Each day is a new day with your students, so make it your new best day!

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?

My favorite thing about being a teacher is building relationships with students and families. Being a teacher makes me feel like a real superstar when I see students outside of school and they run up to me yelling my name and giving me a hug. It allows me to know that I have made an impact on my students’ lives.  

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Right now, I see myself still teaching in 10 years. Although, I have had thoughts of furthering my education (doctorate) and taking on more leadership roles in education.

Tell us about your family.

I am married to my husband Daniel. I am the daughter of Wanda and Max McCollum, and Bill and Debra Tucker. I am the granddaughter of Roy and Patsy Jones, and Billy and Joyce Tucker. I am an aunt to many precious nieces and nephews, who are like my own.

If you could travel anywhere for a week, where would you go and why?

If I could travel anywhere for one week, I would travel to Heaven. I would travel to Heaven to visit my granddaddy and let him know that I was named Teacher of the Year for South Hart. He supported my teaching career and I know this honor would have made him so proud of me. He always told me to go to school and keep his pension coming.

Alternatively, though, if I could travel anywhere else for one week, I would travel to St. Andrews, Scotland, because that is where golf originated. There are immaculate golf courses in Scotland and it would be an awesome experience to play at some of the first golf courses. Of course, I would have to take some of my golfing buddies with me because it would make the experience even better. 

What is your favorite part about Hart County?

My favorite part of Hart County would have to be the closeness of the community. I lost my granddaddy last October and was in awe of the people who came to see my family, called, or just sent a card. Knowing I grew up in a county with such caring and compassionate people makes me proud to call Hart County my home.

Anything else about you that you would like to share?

I would like to thank my family, friends, and teachers from elementary school through college for molding me into the person and educator I am today. Also, I would like to thank my fellow teachers for the opportunity to be Teacher of the Year for South Hart Elementary. I work with awesome people at my school and throughout the county who make me strive to be a better educator on a daily basis.