(L-R): Emily Miller, Christan Rosier, Tamara Hammond, Clinton Doak, Johnna Simpson, and Laura Osborne are the teachers nominated for Teacher of the Year in McDuffie County.

McDuffie County Board of Education announced the nominees for their Teacher of the Year award. The nominees for teacher of the year in McDuffie County are Clinton Doak, Norris Elementary School, Tamara Hammond, Thomson Elementary School, Emily Miller, Maxwell Elementary School, Laura Osborne, Thomson-McDuffie Middle School, Christian Rosier, Thomson High School, and Johnna Simpson, Dearing Elementary School.

Doak has been teaching for 14 years and teaches Mathematics to fourth and fifth graders. He is married to his wife Angela, and they have a son, Michael. When he isn’t teaching, Doak likes to be outdoors fishing and pursuing game. Some of his favorite things about being a teacher are seeing his students master a skill and increase their confidence, and also seeing his students achieve their goals. Doak was also a U.S. Army Veteran.

Hammond has been teaching for 28 years, and she has spent her entire career in McDuffie County. Hammond is teaching all subjects to third graders. She is married to Britt Hammond, and they have three children, Sarah Gayle Hammond Roberson, Elizabeth Hammond, and John Thomas Hammond. All three of her children either graduated or are attending the University of Georgia. Hammond likes to volunteer at the local food bank, Manna, when she isn’t teaching. She enjoys traveling with her family, especially going to national parks. Hammond is a member of First Baptist Church, where she plays piano for services each Sunday. Hammond's favorite thing about teaching is sharing books with students and seeing their reaction.

“I find that my excitement about how an author describes characters or a particular place translates to my students,” Hammond said.

Hammond has mentored two new teachers at Thomson Elementary, and she is thankful that McDuffie County continues to hire and keep young teachers of high quality.

Miller has been teaching for roughly 16 years. She teaches kindergarten, which includes all subjects. She is a native of Thomson and married to Wayne Miller. They have two daughters, Evelyn, 6, and Reese, 3 months old. Miller has an older sister, Jenny, and a younger brother, Al. When Miller isn’t teaching she enjoys spending time on her family farm with their lab, Molly, and their Boykin Spaniels, Hazel and Choco. She also enjoys shopping, playing the piano, and traveling. Miller is a member of First Baptist Church. Her favorite thing about being a teacher is teaching her Kindergarten class.

“Their eagerness to learn is evident in their mastery of the basic skills that will allow them to succeed in later grades,” Miller said.

Miller also loves the “ah ha” moments when it finally clicks, and that makes it rewarding. Miller is a 2001 graduate of Thomson High School, and in 2006, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Augusta State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in early Childhood Education. Miller also got her Master’s of Education from Augusta State University in Curriculum and Instruction. Miller was also inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Osborne has been teaching for 26 years, with 22 of those years being in McDuffie County She teaches eighth grade Georgia History. She has been married for 26 years to John Osborne. They have two children, Charles, 22, THS graduate, Mercer graduate, and current eighth grade math teacher, and Elizabeth, 17, senior at THS. Osborne enjoys driving the school bus to athletic events when she isn’t teaching. While at home, she enjoys painting and designing different items, such as tennis shoes. She is also a member of First Baptist Church. One thing she loves about being a teacher is the relationships she builds with her students.

Osborne is another teacher that enjoys the “ah ha” moment, when something finally clicks for her students. Osborne believes you have to start each school year with a loving heart and fresh set of eyes in order for the students to realize what their full potential is.

Rosier has been teaching for five years, and began teaching ninth through 12th grade special education in 2017. Rosier teaches all subjects and career and life skills now. Rosier has been married to her husband, Jonathan, since 2017. They have a one month old son, Waylon. Jonathan Rosier is a firefighter and EMT in McDuffie and Columbia County. Rosier is a member of Marshall Baptist Church, and she leads Music and Worship. Rosier loves the outdoors and anything agriculture related. Attending sporting events as well as playing and coaching softball. She volunteers at the local rodeo, and loves music. Rosier has two favorite things about being a teacher. She loves to inspire students to look beyond their disability.

Her second favorite thing is her coworkers.

“We work together each day to coordinate the chaos of our lives as special education teachers and each one of us will agree that every moment is worth it,” Rosier said. Rosier graduated from THS in 2013 and played varsity softball. Rosier graduated from Augusta University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education, and got a Master’s of Education degree in 2020 in Instruction as well as a S.T.E.M. certification. Rosier helps students work on their transition to life after high school.

Simpson has been teaching for 23 years and teaches math to fourth graders. Simpson has been married for 34 years to Tim Simpson. Simpson has two children, John, 25, who recently got married to Ivey Gheesling and Catherine, 28, who has been married for four years to Jesse Brooks. Simpson has two English Springer Spaniels, Council and Lillie. When she is not teaching, Simpson enjoys reading mystery novels and watching TV. Her favorite hobby is to go thrift shopping. Simpson also loves decorating. Simpson’s favorite thing about being a teacher is having the responsibility to love her students unconditionally and being a role model.

The Teacher of the Year for McDuffie County will be announced on Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Board of Education regular meeting in the auditorium at Thomson High School.