LCES’s Layna Kemp named TCSS’s Teacher of the Year

Published 9:00 am Friday, March 24, 2023

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Long Cane Elementary School’s Layna Kemp was named Troup County School System’s Teacher of the Year (TOTY) on Wednesday night at Del’avant Event Center.

Kemp, who teaches second grade at LCES, was quick to thank everyone who has helped her during her eight years as a teacher.

“On my first day of school, it was about 15 minutes into the day that I realized teaching is hard. There was a situation that popped up on the first day of school that I didn’t know how to handle. It didn’t take me one minute to reach out to a coworker and that’s been the story of my career — reaching out to others and leaning on my coworkers, my principals and all the people around me that have just rallied together and made me feel like I can do this, and I’m just so grateful for that,” Kemp said.

“Thank you to Troup County, the board members and my amazing principal and all that invested in me along the way.”

Katie Brown, principal of LCES, said Kemp is an educator who is driven to grow and perfect her craft.

“I met Layna many years ago when I was a math coach. It was her first year of teaching, and she reached out wanting help with classroom management. She had a tough first year, I remember that well. As I would model, she watched and continued to reach out for support when needed — that’s when I knew she was going to be an amazing teacher,” Brown said

Brown said Kemp’s leadership and innovation in and outside the classroom embody lifelong learning.

“Thank you for always inspiring us to be better. You may not know it but you’ve taught me many things, and I am grateful for that. From one teacher to another, I’m so blessed and lucky I get to teach was such an incredible educator,” Brown said.

The other TOTY finalists were Gardner Newman’s Debbie Cox, Troup County Career Center’s Laura Lee Pike and Hope Academy’s Dr. Zelda Kitt.

A panel of judges reads and scores the finalist’s essays and applications, including a taped interview and classroom observation showing them teaching a lesson through a 20-minute recorded video.

This year included four judges at various levels in their educational careers. All are from outside of the Troup County School System.

In addition to being named the TCSS Teacher of the Year, if she chooses, Kemp will represent the Troup County School System in the State Teacher of the Year competition sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education.