Seasoned educator receives statewide award
By Brian Bowden

After three decades of educating young teenagers at Thomson-McDuffie Middle School, lifelong teacher Dot Kay had no intention of slowing down when she retired from the public school system.
"A teacher has a teacher's soul," said Kay. "You don't ever stop teaching."
Without hardly a missed step, she brought her time and expertise to the McDuffie Environmental Education Center (MEEC) in Dearing. It is a place where she can easily combine her love of science and the outdoors, all in one place.
"When I was teaching [at TMMS] I used to take kids out to the MEEC," said Kay. "They have so many more resources there to get kids outside."
The former eighth-grade teacher, who specialized in science and Georgia history, didn't think twice when the Georgia Department of Natural Resources offered her a job at the MEEC in 2005 continuing what she has loved doing for so long. "It's because of Anne [Matherly] that I am out here," said Kay. "Anne had run it by herself for several years, all alone."
Kay is also able to spend most of her days teaching outside the confinement of a classroom, a big change from the 30 years she spent at TMMS. "We are just trying to get teachers into the mindset that you can teach standards and not have to be in the room. You can go outside and teach math. You can go outside and teach language arts," said Kay. "I guess with classrooms and testing we get the blinders on and forget about the natural world. Kids thrive in it."

To read more on this story, pick up the Thursday, April 24, edition of The McDuffie Progress.





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McDuffie Progress