Dr. Tabitha Baldy was recently awarded the Jim Puckett Outstanding Educator Award from the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders at their annual summer conference. According to the GAEL website, the award is given to individuals who personify the leadership qualities modeled by GAEL's third executive director, Jim Puckett. "Being recognized by leaders and my peers from across the state is a huge honor," stated Dr. Baldy. "We all lean on and learn from each other, so for them to choose me for this award was a very humbling experience."
Award recipients must be current members of GAEL or an affiliate organization for a minimum of three years, employed for at least one year in their current school district, possess an exemplary service record, and exhibit leadership characteristics that are considered a positive role model for others. Colquitt County School District Superintendent Ben Wiggins shared, "Dr. Baldy's selection as the recipient of the prestigious Dr. Jim Puckett Outstanding Educator Award is an outstanding accomplishment. Her professional colleagues selected her from across the state of Georgia as a testament to her work and dedication to all students."
In addition to this award, Dr. Baldy was selected to serve as the 2022-2023 President of the Student Support Team Association of Georgia Educators, a statewide professional organization supporting those who work with student services functions in a school district. "This is a tremendous honor, and we as a distinct are proud to have one of our employees leading in this capacity for one of the state's professional organizations," stated Mr. Wiggins.
Dr. Baldy is the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Director for the Colquitt County School District and is currently serving as Interim Assistant Principal at Stringfellow Elementary School. She has served as the Director of MTSS for seven years and has a total of twenty years in education. MTSS supports all 13 schools and two programs in the district by providing professional learning, guidance, and coaching in using multiple data sources to match students to evidence-based interventions and enrichment opportunities based on needs in academics and social-emotional-behavioral needs. A few examples of this are Direct Instruction Reading and Math Intervention Programs, Therapeutic Drumming Program, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and Mental Health First Aid.