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Teacher Spotlight: Barbara Landreth's legacy


There’s a classroom at Newnan High School that’s stacked to the ceiling with history: boxes of yearbooks and literature textbooks, newspaper clippings and trays of pencils, printouts of Paine and Shakespeare and piles of Norton anthologies. The room is lined with computers and big windows that flood the whole thing in light.

And then there’s the teacher, Mrs. Barbara Landreth, who has taught in this classroom for 51 years and began her teaching career in 1961. Mrs. Landreth is one of the longest-serving teachers in the state of Georgia; to kick off Georgia Teacher Appreciation Month, State School Superintendent Richard Woods made a visit to her classroom.

When asked about her long history in education, Mrs. Landreth graciously deflects. “I always think I’m going to get this job right eventually,” she says. “Then I’ll retire.”

Residents of Coweta County would say, though, that she’s already gotten the job more than right. She’s an institution in the community, a former teacher to everyone from Alan Jackson to a host of current Newnan High School teachers. “She’s amazing,” one former student said as Superintendent Woods spoke with Mrs. Landreth. “It’s an honor to get into her class,” another added.  

“I’ve taught some neat people,” Mrs. Landreth admitted. Then she gestured to the students sitting around her. “They’re going to grow up to be neat people, too.”

During his visit, Superintendent Woods thanked Mrs. Landreth for her many years of service, then asked her what suggestions she had to offer. She talked about the ways education has changed since she began and offered some advice for other educators:

“Know your content and don’t try to please everyone in the room,” she said. “You’ll never succeed trying to please everybody.”  

Retirement time will come eventually, but for now Mrs. Landreth – who has taught every high school grade – is all in. She’s still the yearbook adviser. She still chaperoned this year’s prom.

Nearing the end of his visit, Superintendent Woods asked the 53-year educator whether she’d choose education again, given the chance to go back.

Mrs. Landreth answered confidently.

“I’d do the same thing,” she said. “I’d do the same thing.” 

Read other GaDOE Teacher Spotlights here.​ To nominate a Georgia teacher for a GaDOE Teacher Spotlight, email Meghan Frick at