Celebrated teacher to speak at Clayton State

Special photo: Georgia Teacher of the Year, Jadun McCarthy, will be the keynote speaker at Clayton State University’s “Education Speaker Series” on Monday, Feb. 6.

Special photo: Georgia Teacher of the Year, Jadun McCarthy, will be the keynote speaker at Clayton State University’s “Education Speaker Series” on Monday, Feb. 6.

“Every child deserves a great teacher,” declared Georgia’s Teacher Of The Year award winner.

“Children don’t deserve OK, or adequate, teachers. Every child that walks into a public school deserves a great teacher.”

The educator who made that declaration is Jadun McCarthy, an English Language Arts teacher at Northeast Health Science Magnet High School, in Bibb County. He is scheduled to be the keynote speaker for Clayton State University’s “Education Speaker Series” on Monday, Feb. 6. The event is free, and open to the public.

It will be held from 4:30 p.m., to 5:45 p.m., in the Clayton State Theater, room 132 of the University’s Arts & Sciences Building, and is sponsored by the Teacher Education Department.

McCarthy is a native of the Bibb County School District, who changed his mind about pursuing a career in law, to focus on becoming a teacher. It was during his graduation from the University of Georgia School of Law, he said, when he realized his dream was to become a teacher.

“As Georgia Teacher of the Year, McCarthy will serve as an advocate for public education in Georgia,” said Clayton State University Spokesman John Shiffert. “Instead of working in a system that locks up people,” said Shiffert, “[McCarthy] said he would rather follow in the footsteps of the people who provided him the tools to be successful –– his teachers.”

“I wanted to have the same influence on someone that many of my wonderful teachers had on me,” said McCarthy. “I wanted to stop some young man, or young woman, from stumbling onto the wrong path.”

McCarthy serves as the head coach of his school’s Academic Bowl Team, is chairman of the school’s “Bridging the Gap,” Eight-Step Process Achievement Initiative team, and is a member of the Georgia Association of Educators.

According to the Department of Education’s web site, since 2007, he has been recognized each year as one of Northeast High School’s End of Course Test Start Teachers. He also serves as the Junior and Senior Class Advisor, coordinates the Junior/Senior Prom and all Senior activities, including the annual Senior Class Trip to Orlando. Students have recognized him as the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Advisor of the Year.

At the banquet where he was announced as the state’s leading teacher, McCarthy told a room full of teachers and dignitaries he was humbled to be a representative for the “tremendous teachers” in the state of Georgia, and commended the other teachers –– present at the event –– on their hard work and dedication.

“If we could replicate the teachers in this room, we wouldn’t need No Child Left Behind –– because there would be no children left behind,” he said at the ceremony.

“Jadun McCarthy is going to be a great representative of the teaching profession in Georgia,” added State School Superintendent John Barge. “He has such a compelling story about how education has impacted his life.”

As Georgia Teacher of the Year, McCarthy will represent Georgia teachers by speaking to the public about the teaching profession, and possibly conducting workshops and programs for educators. He will also compete for the 2012 National Teacher of the Year honor.

For more information on the Clayton State Education Speaker Series, contact Dr. Ruth Caillouet, chairperson, Department of Teacher Education, at (678) 466-4741, or at: RuthCaillouet@Clayton.edu.