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
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
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
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.
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.”
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
your content and don’t try to please everyone in the room,” she said. “You’ll
never succeed trying to please everybody.”
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.
the end of his visit, Superintendent Woods asked the 53-year educator whether
she’d choose education again, given the chance to go back.
Landreth answered confidently.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.