Troup’s Teacher of the Year awarded

Published 7:51 pm Wednesday, March 15, 2017

LaGRANGE- A Troup High math teacher took home one of the school system’s top honors Wednesday night.

Kayla Yeargin was selected as the 2017 Teacher of the Year winner.

“Oh my goodness, thank you so much,” said Yeargin, as she addressed the crowd for her winner’s speech. “I couldn’t have been standing here without my Troup High family and the math department. We build each other up at Troup High and if it were not for my administrators that are here and every teacher in our building, I don’t think I would be where I’m at today. I want thank my family for coming down. I cannot wait to take the feeling I have now to ‘Believe in THS (Troup High School)’ and turn it into ‘Believe in Troup County Schools’ and make this our system that we believe in each other and other people want to emulate us. Thank you so much. This is such a wonderful honor.”

A total of 25 teachers from all the local public schools were nominated for the honor this year. The finalists were Michal Bush, a fourth grade English/Language Arts teacher at Hollis Hand Elementary School; Marie Curtis, a middle school Exceptional Education teacher at Callaway Middle School; and Yeargin, a ninth grade Accelerated Algebra teacher at Troup High School.

Bush was the Elementary School Division winner; Curtis was the Middle School Division winner; and Yeargin was the High School Division winner.

Last year’s Teacher of the Year, Jill Gay, spoke early in the program to express how much of a joy it has been this past year to carry that accolade.

“A year ago I was sitting right there hoping and praying my name would be announced as Troup County’s Teacher of the Year,” said Gay, a second grade teacher at Hollis Hand Elementary School. “What an incredible year this has been. It has been such an honor to represent the Troup County School System. This past year has been incredible and filled with wonderful moments. But the honor was telling my students that we won. In the eyes of my second-graders, we had won the Super Bowl and the World Series.”

Superintendent Dr. Cole Pugh, who told the audience he was the 1973 Teacher of the Year early in his career, said he was proud to honor not just the Teacher of the Year winner but also all 25 of the nominees.

“I’d just like to say it has been a privilege to work with the teachers and administrators in the room,” said Pugh. “We appreciate and applaud all the tireless effort and time you spend with our students. Congratulations again to every Teacher of the Year winner in the room and the three finalists. The judges that chose the winner had a very tough decision. I think they mentioned, could we have a three-way tie? We said, ‘No you got to make a decision’ and they did.”


Reach James Simpson II at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155, or by email at