Fayette County Teacher of the Year almost didn’t become one

The 2017 Fayette County Teacher of the Year is Shaylen Dixon, a third-grade teacher at Peachtree City Elementary. The other two finalists among 26 school-level teachers of the year were Heather Price, a second-grade teacher at Oak Grove Elementary, and Dr. Tarchell Caruthers, a sixth-grade math, science and literacy teacher at Flat Rock Middle. Dixon said that when she was deciding on a career she first thought she should be "more than just a teacher." Then, on a mission trip to Ghana, West Africa, she saw communities striving to survive because they all lacked one core thing, knowledge. "In my arrogance, I almost missed the point that teaching is not a job, there is no way to be capable of 'more.' It is either something you are, or something you aren't. It can't be trained, it can't be taught, because at the core of this 'job' are people who are wired to serve others, people who seek to create opportunities for change, and people who realize that knowledge really is a vital component for those around us to reach their full potential. Had I never witnessed the absence of knowledge and education, I doubt I would have ever understood the value of such a calling," Dixon said. As Fayette County's 2017 Teacher of the Year, Dixon will represent the school system next year in the Georgia Teacher of the Year competition.