2014-08-06 / Front Page

New teachers for a new school year

by MCL staffwriter

Summer officially ended for teachers, staff and administrators last Wednesday morning as the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year kicked off.

Everyone seemed excited and had smiles on their faces as they gathered in the Miller County School Lunchroom for a systemwide back-to-school breakfast.

High School Principal David Kirkland welcomed everyone back after which Miller County Board of Education member Billy Roland blessed the food.

After a delicious breakfast prepared by Kay Fleet and the lunchroom staff, Miller County Elementary School Principal Cleve Roland, Miller County Middle School Principal Robert Melton and Miller County High School Principal David Kirkland introduced their new teachers.

Dr. Allen Kicklighter, Superintendent of Schools then gave a very inspiring speech on education. He also informed the teachers of the new tests that will be administered beginning this school year.

The new teachers and parapros are as follows:

Chelsea Hathorn

Chelsea Hathorn will be teaching special education at the high school.

Chelsea was born and raised in North Carolina and attended Appalachian State University, where she received a bachelor of science degree. After graduating from Appalachian, Chelsea moved to Georgia, closer to her family. She then attended graduate school, receiving a master of science in clinical mental health counseling from Troy University. Chelsea was previously employed by Albany Area Community Service Board as a mental health counselor in Blakely. Chelsea and her husband have one son who just turned one year old.

Melody Houston

Melody Houston is a paraprofessional at Miller County Elementary School and will be working with kindergarten. She was born and raised in Miller County. She attended and graduated from Miller County Schools.

She previously worked for the school system as a secretary and substitute teacher.

Melody is married to Greg Houston, and they have two sons, Jason and Israel.

She is a member of New Salem Free Will Baptist Church.

Chad Martin

Chad Martin is from Plainville. He will be teaching high school history.

He attended Shorter University where he played football. He is in his eighth year of teaching and coaching.

He is married to Danielle, and they have a sevenmonth old son, Colt.

Jennifer Rayburn

Jennifer Rayburn will be teaching fourth grade math and social studies this year. She is beginning her 12th year in the education field.

In the past, she has taught third and fourth grades and served as an elementary school counselor. She received her undergraduate degree in early childhood education from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in school counseling from the University of West Alabama.

She began her teaching career in Tift County Schools and has spent the last seven years in the Monroe County School System in Forsyth.

She and her husband, Jeremy, are both originally from Thomasville. “We have been excited to get back to our South Georgia roots over the summer,” stated Rayburn.

They have two children; Emma Grace, a first grader, and Eli, who is in his last year of day care before entering school.

Jeremy Rayburn

Jeremy Rayburn is the new head football coach for Miller County and will also be teaching-----.

He is a native of Thomasville and a 1996 graduate of Thomasville High School, where he lettered in both football and baseball.

Upon graduation he attended Georgia Southern University where he worked as a student assistant equipment manager with the football program from 1996 to 2000. Rayburn graduated with his bachelor’s degree in secondary social science education from Georgia Southern in 2001, earned his master’s degree in history education from the University of West Alabama in 2007, and his education specialist degree in teaching and learning from Georgia Southern in 2012.

He is married to Jennifer, and they have two children, Emma Grace and Eli.

Ben Sasser

Ben Sasser is the new seventh grade English and language arts teacher at Miller County Middle School.

For the past two years, he taught 9th Grade ELA and Public Speaking at Troup High School in LaGrange. His primary extra-curricular activities were acting and building sets for The La- Grange Society of Performing Arts.

“I am looking forward to getting to know the community and imparting my passion for literature and writing because, as we all know, there’s nothing like a good story!”

Jessica Henry Sexton

Jessica Henry Sexton is the new middle and elementary special education paraprofessional.

She graduated from Albany State University in December of 2013 with bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

Jessica has been a substitute teacher in the Miller County School System since 2010.

She is married to Joey Sexton, and they have two children, Kaydence, who just started pre-k at Miller County Schools, and Zoey.

Eric Thomas

Eric Thomas will be teaching seventh grade social studies and reading. He will also serve as head middle school football coach, head middle school girls’ basketball coach and varsity assistant girls’ basketball coach.

He was born and raised in Terrell County. He attended school at Terrell Academy and Greenfield Academy and spent many years in agriculture.

He graduated from Georgia Southwestern State University with a bachelor of business administration where he spent two and a half years as intramural sports coordinator. He spent four years at Randolph Clay as alternative school director, along with coaching duties which included varsity football offense line and defense line coach, wrestling assistant coach, head football coach for the ninth and 10th grade team and head girls’ track coach. He also spent a year and a half at Southwest Georgia Academy teaching PE and health.

He has an 18-year-old son who attends Miller County High School.

Ruben Urlbe

Ruben is the new Spanish teacher at Miller County High School.

He comes from Colombia, South America. He earned his Bachelors’ degree in La Universidad del Magdalena en Santa Marta, Colombia. In 2000 he immigrated to the United Stated to learn English. He previously taught middle and high school in Gadsden County in Florida.

He has three boys and three dogs.

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