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GMC Prep Names 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year and Character Educator of the Year

Georgia Military College (GMC) Prep School has named Major Jenny Morris Teacher of the Year, and Major Allen Simmons Character Educator of the Year for 2017-2018. Both Morris and Simmons have had impactful careers at Georgia Military College Prep School. Morris, a Theatre Director and Choreographer, has been at GMC Prep full-time for two years, and Simmons, teacher of History and Government, has been at GMC Prep for eight years.

Morris began her theatre and dance teaching career in 2004 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Education for Drama P-12 from Columbus State University, and a Master of Science in Education in Integrated Teaching through Fine Arts from Lesley University. She’s on the Chapter Board for Georgia Thespians and has been the Director and/or Choreographer for the Georgia All-State Show/Opening Number since 2004. She was recognized as Teacher of the Year in Putnam County in 2013-2014, as a Star Teacher three times by the Rotary Club, received the Outstanding Alumna Theatre Education Award in 2006-2007, and Most Outstanding BSED Student 2003-2004 from Columbus State University. Morris has helped lead her students to many state titles in One Act Play and Literary. In addition to teaching, Morris has taught workshops, trained, choreographed and performed all over the United States. She is passionate about teaching all types of students and says she’s honored to be named Georgia Military College Prep School’s 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.

“I am so honored to be chosen by my peers as the Teacher of the Year,” Morris said. “I am grateful to teach at a school that is so supportive of me and the Fine Arts Program. I’m blessed to work with Mark Weaver, and I love the students. I’m truly passionate about what I teach. I set the bar high for them and I love watching them accomplish things they never thought possible through musical theatre. I am here not only to teach musical theatre but also to teach each child life skills that they need to be successful.”
 
Mark Weaver, Director of Fine arts at Georgia Military College Prep, works closely with Morris and says since joining the team, she’s worked incredibly hard to make the musical theatre program thrive.
“Jenny has been an invaluable part of the Fine Arts team at Georgia Military College Prep,” Weaver said. “Her energy and creativity inspire all of us on a daily basis.”

Georgia Military College Prep School Principal, Colonel Pamela Grant, says Morris is the epitome of what a Teacher of the Year should be.

“The faculty could not have chosen a more deserving Teacher of the Year than Jenny Morris… she is a master teacher,” Grant said. “Every time I walk in her room, the students are actively engaged and are participating in some type of activity that broadens their understanding of musical theatre and gives them more confidence to stand in front of others and speak. The icing on the cake is that the students are always having a great time learning and perfecting these new skills. In our world that begins after 3:15 in the afternoon, Jenny spends hours working with students, drawing out their abilities, and then giving them the confidence to stand in front of an audience and perform. She herself is a gifted performer and she teaches by example. Our Fine Arts Department has grown even stronger with the addition of Jenny to our faculty!”

Simmons has been teaching since 2005 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in History from Georgia College and State University, a Master in Education in Accomplished Teaching from Georgia Southern University, and an Education Specialist in Educational Leadership from Georgia College and State University. He’s been at Georgia Military College Prep School since 2010, teaching 10th grade U.S. History and 12th grade Government. Simmons has also coached football, baseball, and is currently the Head Softball and Golf Coach, helping lead his students to several regional and state titles. He’s served as the Social Studies Department Chair in 2014, 2016-present, he’s been selected as Advance Placement Exam reader since 2014 and was named GMC’s Employee of the Quarter in the fall of 2014. He was also named GACA Region 7A Coach of the Year and Georgia Dugout Club’s State Coach of the Year, both in 2016. Simmons says being named Georgia Military College Prep School’s 2017-2018 Character Educator of the Year is humbling.

“It is humbling to be selected for this by my peers,” Simmons said. “I love GMC and everything it stands for, and to be selected as Character Educator of the Year means a great deal to me.”

Command Sergeant Major Steven Greer, Associate Principal at Georgia Military College Prep School, says Simmons is always willing to help, and a great asset to GMC Prep.

“Allen Simmons is a remarkable coach and teacher,” Greer said. “He is one of my go-to teachers when I need something accomplished in a hurry, and he does it with a smile. It’s a pleasure working with him every day.”

Grant says being chosen for Character Educator of the Year says a lot about a person’s morals and values. She says Simmons is a great role model for everyone at GMC Prep.

“Allen Simmons is extremely deserving to be chosen as our Character Educator of the year,” Grant said. “In every aspect of his life, both at school and personally, he is always a role model for our students. I have observed Allen interact with students both in the classroom and in the arena of the sports teams he coaches, and it’s obvious that his students and players respect and look up to him. Allen is the type of role model we strive to have on our faculty for our students to emulate. We could not have picked a more fitting or deserving Character Educator of the Year.”

Both Morris and Simmons were recognized at Georgia Military College’s Academic Honors Parade on April 20, 2018. Congratulations to both Jenny Morris for being named Georgia Military College Prep School’s 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year, and Allen Simmons being named 2017-2018 Character Educator of the Year.