Pruitt inspires students and pageant contestants

Published 10:25 am Thursday, December 14, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: The LaGrange Daily News is doing a Q&A with all of the teachers of the year in the Troup County School System. Today we are writing about Trina Pruitt, a social studies teacher at Long Cane Middle School. We asked her 20 questions, and we’ve shortened this interview to some of our favorite responses.

Pruitt is a seventh-grade social studies teacher, as well as a team leader and content leader at Long Cane Middle School. 

She has worked in education for 17 years, with all of them at the Troup County School System. Fifteen of the years she’s spent as a certified teacher with two as a paraprofessional. She has been at LCMS for seven years.

Pruitt is married to her husband, Anthony, and together they have three Boston Terriers — Bonnie Blue, Coco Chanel, and Piper Blue.

She also has two sons, who graduated from LaGrange High School — Tristain, Class of 2015 and Cameron, class of 2019. Tristain played baseball and graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in 2019. Cameron graduated from Kennesaw State University in May.

Outside of teaching, she also serves as the RTI chair at LCMS, the Unity Way coordinator at LCMS and sponsors the Junior Beta Club.

Q: What community activities are you involved in, even outside of the school system? How long have you been involved in that activity?

A: “I am the CEO/President of the Miss Georgia Scholarship Organization, a preliminary to Miss America. I have been in this role for five years and involved in

the organization for over 20 years. I am also a member of the Junior League of Columbus, Georgia.”

Q: What inspired you to become an educator? (Or who?)

A: “My mother knew I always needed to be a teacher, but I chose another path my first time attending college. Once I had my two boys, I wanted to have the same schedule as my boys. So that motivated me to return to college, and obtain my Masters of Arts in Teaching from LaGrange College.”

Q: What are your career aspirations?

A: “Currently, I am in the Principals for Tomorrow Program offered by TCSS. I would like to be in school administration in the next five years.”

Q: If you weren’t a teacher, what career field would you be in?

A: “With the responsibilities and duties of running Miss Georgia, I have enjoyed planning events that showcase local and state titleholders, raising over a quarter of a million scholarship dollars, and overseeing the production of Miss Georgia.”

Q: What hidden talent do you have that might surprise your students and our readers?

A: I like to sing.

Q: If your teaching style had a theme song, what would it be?

A: “We celebrate learning and success in my classroom. So it would have to be Kool and the Gang, ‘Celebration.’”

Q: What’s the most creative/unique project one of your classes has worked on?

A: “Earlier in my teaching career, my 7th Grade Social Studies Team made a quilt featuring notable African Americans during Black History Month. The quilt was over 50 feet wide and long. It made the front page of the LaGrange Daily News.”

Q: If you could invite any historical figure to speak to your class, who would you choose and why?

A: “It would have to be one of the framers of the US Constitution. I would love for my students to hear the insights on why the Constitution was written the way it was hundreds of years ago. And, I would love for my students to challenge the framer on why the Constitution still upholds today.”

Q: What’s the most rewarding part about your job?

A: “The most rewarding part of my job is developing relationships with students and watching them grow into young adults. Knowing you made a positive impact ontheir lives means so much.”

Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job?

A: “Being a teacher is challenging. Our profession is constantly evolving through new curriculum, technology, and delivery. It is said that a teacher makes more decisions than a brain surgeon does daily.”

Q: What did it mean to you to be named your school’s teacher of the year?

A: I had no clue that it was about to be announced. I felt very honored to be picked by the best faculty in the Troup County School System. It certainly is an honor.

Q: As your students transition to the next grade or graduate in May, what is one key takeaway you hope they carry forward from their time in your class?

A: “Of course, I hope they takeaway knowledge of Africa, Southwest Asia, and Southeast Asia. But I also hope they learn to not sweat the small stuff. Students become very upset over many issues that will not matter in ten minutes. I hope they carry forward a sense of confidence and perseverance to become the best version of themselves.”