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20 Under 40: Sewell is giving back to her hometown by educating tomorrow’s leaders

It’s been quite a year for Long Cane Middle School teacher Traviera Sewell.

Sewell, a sixth grade social studies teacher, was named the Troup County School System’s Teacher of the Year in March.

This is only Sewell’s fourth year teaching.

“I was in tears,” Sewell said when her name was called. “I was surrounded by my family, my co-workers, my friends and faculty, so I felt really blessed and humbled but super excited also.”

The LaGrange native went to the Troup County School System for kindergarten through twelfth grade and graduated from LaGrange High School in 2010.

She said it meant a lot to come back to Troup County and teach the next generation.

“I definitely wanted to come back and give to my own community. This is where I grew up. This is where I call home, and this is where my family is from,” Sewell said. “Troup County had such a big impact on me, and I wanted to inspire other students and other people in my community, so I’m definitely glad I got to come back home and give back to my community.”

In April, Sewell learned that she won a free cruise for two from Norwegian Cruise Line, via the Giving Joy campaign. Only 30 teachers from across the United States were selected.

“March was such an amazing month for me,” Sewell said. “I did not expect to be named Troup County Teacher of the Year and was thrilled when I was named the winner. The following day, I received news that I had been nominated to win a free cruise for teachers through the Norwegian Cruise Line.”

Sewell earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, her master’s from Columbus State University and her specialist degree from Liberty University. She’s currently working to earn a doctorate degree.

Sewell credits her mother, Tanya Boyd, for inspiring her to be the person she is today.

“She has made everything possible for me and my siblings. She has sacrificed to make sure we all had what we needed, and I literally don’t think I can thank her enough for all she’s done for us and done for me,” Sewell said. “She was the first one that jumped up last night when they said my name, and I couldn’t have asked for a better mom. She’s the rock of the family. She holds everybody together.”

— Story and Photos by Daniel Evans