• 52°

VSU alumni inducted into Educators Hall of Fame

Three locals included
VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University (VSU) recently inducted 31 James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services alumni into its inaugural Educators Hall of Fame.
The VSU Educators Hall of Fame is located on the first floor of the Jerry and Kay Jennett Lecture Hall and is open to the public.
“It is indeed a pleasure for me to offer congratulations on behalf of the entire university community to this first class of inductees into the Valdosta State University Educators Hall of Fame,” said Cecil P. Staton, Ph.D., interim president of VSU. “Educators play an enormously important role in our society. They are charged with the awesome responsibility of providing a foundation for the success of future generations.
“Each member of the inaugural class of inductees into the VSU Educators Hall of Fame is a remarkable example of dedication to a cause larger than one’s self. Their success in the field of education reflects well on their personal commitment to the profession, and we believe that Valdosta State University and the Dewar College of Education and Human Services have contributed in a significant way to their success.”
The inaugural class is comprised of alumni who either earned Georgia Teacher of the Year honors or were a finalist for Georgia Teacher of the Year and includes the following inductees.
• Jane Wilson Butler retired from the Sumter County School System in 2011, after 39 years of service. She last worked as a long-term substitute teacher at Crisp County High School. Butler earned an education specialist in curriculum and instruction from VSU’s Dewar College of Education and Human Services in 2001. She was a finalist for Georgia Teacher of the Year in 2006. Her other honors include the Golden Apple Award in 1996 and 2010 and the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics Gladys M. Thompson Award nomination.
• Laura Gerlach has worked in the field of education for 15 years, more recently as an advisor and dean at Furlow Charter School in Sumter County where she oversees the fourth- and fifth-grade team. Gerlach earned a bachelor of science in education from VSU’s Dewar College of Education and Human Services in 2000. She was a finalist for Georgia Teacher of the Year in 2011. Her other honors include the following: Sumter County Elementary School Teacher

Shown are Cecil P. Staton, Ph.D., interim president of VSU, and Laura Gerlach, a VSU alumna and Georgia Teacher of the Year finalist in 2011.

Shown are Cecil P. Staton, Ph.D., interim president of VSU, and Laura Gerlach, a VSU alumna and Georgia Teacher of the Year finalist in 2011.

of the Year for the 2009-2010 academic year; Sumter County Schools District Teacher of the Year for the 2010-2011 academic year; Georgia Master Teacher Certificate in 2010; the Golden Apple Award in 2011; and Georgia Odyssey of the Mind Coaches Hall of Fame recognition in 2015.
• Melissa Roland has worked in the field of education for 23 years, more recently as a professional learning coordinator for the Chattahoochee-Flint Regional Educational Service Agency. Roland earned a doctor of education in curriculum and instruction from VSU’s Dewar College of Education and Human Services in 2002. She was a finalist for Georgia Teacher of the Year in 2002. Her other honors include Sarah Cobb Elementary School Teacher of the Year in 2000 and Sumter County Teacher of the Year in 2001.