For Goldman, serving as teacher of the year meant taking a one-year sabbatical to allow her time to attend monthly meetings of the state Board of Education as a non-voting member. She’s also traveling the state to advocate for educators under her platform, “Believe in public education.”
“I think everyone realizes the indispensable role that we’ve been and foundational role that we play in our communities, and for our families and for our students,” she said. “And I’m just encouraging everyone to recognize that integral role that we play in Georgia and in our societies.”
One issue she has focused on is teacher burnout, an issue that the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated. She helped convene focus groups and is working with state Superintendent Richard Woods to produce a report and recommendations that will be shared with each school district.
After the formal ceremony concluded and on the way to a private reception at the White House, Goldman reflected on president and first lady’s remarks.
“It was so inspiring and reinvigorating just to know that we have such support from the highest levels in the land for what we’re doing for students in our country,” she said. “I think it just touched everybody very deeply and we just greatly appreciated the way they’ve opened up the White House to us and the time that they took to share their message and it was just incredibly powerful for everyone.”