At the graduation ceremonies for the Delta Innovative School’s Class of 2022, Principal Lamar Thomas announced Mrs. Sonja Guilbeau, Science teacher and Senior Advisor, had been selected by her peers to serve as the 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year. Thomas stated, “Mrs Guilbuea is so consistent with her kids. She is relentless at making sure they finish. She texted those seniors everyday.She made them come to school. The students always talk about how aggravating she is because she would not let them quit. They learned to love that fact that she pushed them and it showed with the number of students she got to graduate. Mrs. Guilbuea possess a dying quality in education and that is caring for students. She cares about her students so much that several times she and the student both cried together. She is a teacher that completely cares about her students.”
A graduate of Valdosta State University and Cambridge, Guilbeau became a teacher after taking a Special Education course as an elective course while she was pursuing a degree in biology. During the practical portion of the class, the high school teacher she was working with told her she had a natural instinct to help others. After receiving her Biology degree, she began taking education courses to become a teacher. She stated, My most influential teacher was Mrs. Jan Godwin. Mrs. Godwin was one of my high school science teachers at Cook High School. She was always encouraging to her students, and pushed them to think outside of the box. I developed a love of science while in high school, therefore pursuing a Biology degree and later becoming a high school science teacher.”
Teaching comes with challenges. “The most challenging aspect of teaching is meeting the individual needs of each student. Every child has the ability to learn although they do not learn in the same way. A dedicated teacher has to find a way to instill academic confidence in each student. Once the student experiences success along with encouragement, the student will better understand the need for intrinsic motivation. Therefore, understanding that intrinsic motivation increases the likelihood of a successful future.” shared Guilbeau. For Guilbeau, sharing in her student’s milestones and personal successes is one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching. Guilbeau said, “I have seen former students in the community, who stop me to say "thank you", as well as those who have invited me to college graduations, weddings, and other important milestones of life. I feel that teaching is a profession of service, and I am humbled that God chose me for this profession.”
Married to Paul, Mrs. Guilbeau enjoys reading, gardening and life! She will represent Delta Innovative School for the 2022-2023 school year as Teacher of the Year and will compete at the district level for the title of Brooks County Schools Teacher of the Year. The BCS Teacher of the year will compete at the district level for the title of Brooks County Schools Teacher of the Year. The BCS Teacher of the Year will be named at the Teacher of the Year banquet hosted in the fall.
Pictured with Mrs. Guilbeau is Principal Lamar Thomas. Photo by Jamon Williams.