Golden Apple Award – Betts Berry, Saddle Ridge

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Rock Spring, GA (WDEF) – Betts Berry teaches Agriculture at Saddle Ridge, and her commitment to her profession travels far outside the classroom. She routinely spends her free time making sure her students have the tools they need to succeed.

Principal Wendy Ingram says, “Ms. Berry is amazing. She does an amazing job with her students. She has really brought our Agriculture program right to the very top of the state of Georgia. We are one of the few that offers elementary Agriculture. She along with another Agriculture teacher Ashton Little make sure that our elementary school students learn to really love agriculture.”

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Ms. Berry describes herself this way,”Betts Berry is a wife, a mother, a cattle producer, a teacher, someone who loves children, someone who loves her community, someone that loves the environment, a lot of things. I wear a lot of hats.”

Courtney Nailon is a 6th grader at Saddle Ridge. When the topic of Ms. Berry comes up, Courtney says, ” She puts that spark up like, she makes your day. Like, she makes your day.”

For Ms. Berry, it’s a calling.

She remembers, ” I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was in the second grade, and I’m sure it was because I had a wonderful second grade teacher. (And) I taught for several years. I taught kindergarten for several years. And then I stopped to go into cattle production. And now I am blessed to combine two loves. My love of agriculture and my love of teaching. And I get to teach agriculture education. We love to get outside. And we like hands on activities. We have a greenhouse. We have an outdoor garden. We have the woods to play in. So it’s a, it’s a great environment.”

Ms. Berry concludes, ” The students don’t always remember the content that we teach,  but they remember how you treat them, and they remember some of the values that you try to instill in them.  I hope my students leave my Agriculture class with a desire to, not always to become a farmer or producer but to appreciate what agriculture gifts to them and also to care for this world, to care for our earth.

Presented by News 12 Now and Food City, the Golden Apple Award honors outstanding teachers in the Tennessee Valley. To nominate a teacher you feel is deserving of the award, visit wdef.com/goldenapple.