Lela Perry, left, speaks with eighth grader Rebecca Baughcum about her life goals. (Photo/Linda Erbele)

Perry credits her parents for being named Teacher of the Year

This is Lela Perry’s 30th year as a teacher.
She was modest about being selected as White County Middle School’s Teacher of the Year and said she felt that the honor should be shared with her parents, Sidney and Bertah Mae Stover, who recently celebrated their 72nd anniversary.
“They are the reason I was selected, because of what they instilled in me,” she said, adding that she was one of eight children. “Things were difficult at times, but we hung in there together. They taught us how to give back, be patient, kind and trusting with one another. It’s an honor to be their daughter.”
That said, she loves her job, teaching both English Language Arts and collaborative science and social studies to sixth graders.
“I am conscientious and give 100 percent,” she said. “I try to treat everyone with the respect that they deserve as humans.”
In particular, she works to help her students develop social and behavioral skills.
“Kids are dealing with a lot of issues,” she said. “And they each think they are by themselves, the only one feeling that way.”
She enjoys helping to draw them out of that self-imposed isolation and said she can relate to it, adding that teachers also have a lot of weight on their shoulders with changes in accountability and curriculum. She said that the administration is very helpful with that.
“The administration promotes a sense of family in this school,” Perry said.
She is married to David and they have three sons and a daughter, seven grandchildren and three dogs. She has a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree from Brenau University in interrelated studies.

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