About 50 people watched Cobb teacher of the year Dr. Richard Kaht, a 20-year educator and science teacher at Dickerson Middle School, and Marietta teacher of the year David DuBose, a 19-year educator and band director at Marietta High School, reveal their handprints beside the sidewalk lining Glover Park.
“It’s quite an honor to be here to help recognize some very, very special folks,” said master of ceremonies Tony Britton, Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s chairman. “The purpose of today’s ceremony is to honor our school systems’ greatest educators and to unveil the Cobb County and Marietta City handprints for the Teacher Walk of Honor here on the Marietta Square.”
Marietta Superintendent Emily Lembeck introduced DuBose, who joined Marietta High in 2006 as an AP and IB music teacher and band director.
“He’s the maestro and can be called masterful,” Lembeck said. “And your recognition today will live on with these handprints in the marble.”
DuBose came to Marietta seven years ago from Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he taught for four years at Tuscaloosa High School.
“We’re not just here to celebrate the Teachers of the Year but to celebrate our students and what is right in education here in the Cobb County and Marietta areas,” DuBose said. “The last few years have created many challenges for school districts all over our nation, but Cobb County and Marietta City schools both have dedicated themselves to protecting our students.
“We are investing strongly in our schools, and I feel very honored to be chosen as a Teacher of the Year for a system that takes such great pride for what they do for our students.”
He said the award reflects his students’ hard work and how they continue to challenge him to be a better teacher.
He thanked his family, students, parents, the Marietta High administration and Marietta City Schools central office staff.
“We truly invest in raising a child,” he said.
Kaht was introduced by Cobb Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, who described Cobb’s Teacher of the Year as a life-long learner that makes a difference in students’ lives.
The middle school science teacher began his teaching career in Cobb 15 years ago and has been at Dickerson since 1999.
“You’re not sure when you’re going to inspire a child, and sometimes it’s when you least expect it, but the teachers in Cobb County … have made such a difference in children,” Kaht said. “Whether we realize or if we don’t, it will come back tenfold for us.”
“Every year I learn more from my kids than I ever learned in school,” he said. “I’ve learned from the families that I’ve worked with and the teachers that I work with who are constantly reinvesting themselves and setting the bar up high. We have a great community that we work for, with and in.”
Like DuBose, he thanked his family, students, parents, school staff and central office employees.
“I am so honored to have this award, I am honored to represent Cobb County and I’m proud to be the Teacher of the Year for the students of this wonderful county.”
DuBose and Kaht were presented with a commemorative glass-blown handprint from Lillie Glassblowers, in addition to a one-year car lease from Ed Voyles Automotive Group, monthly car washes from AutoBell Car Wash, room rental at the Strand Theatre, six house cleaning services from Prestigious Cleaning Team, director’s chairs from Cobb EMC and commemorative lapel pins from Edward Johns Jewelers.
The handprint unveiling ceremony is one of many events scheduled in October to recognize the district-wide teachers of the year and each school’s teacher of the year.
The week of Oct. 29-Nov. 2 has been named Give Our Schools a Hand Week. On Oct. 30, a breakfast and pep rally will be held at Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta to honor and celebrate the nearly 130 teachers of the year throughout the county.