DCHS Awards Final Teacher, Student, and Parent of the Month Honors for 2023-24 School Year

May 15, 2024
By: Dwayne Page

DeKalb County High School last Tuesday presented its final monthly awards of the 2023-24 year for teacher, student, and parent of the month. These honors were for the month of April.

Each received a certificate from the school and a gift card for a meal from Kilgore’s Restaurant in Smithville.

Veteran educator Donna Emmons, who is retiring after more than 20 years, was chosen by the administration as Teacher of the Month while Senior Emily Lattimore is Student of the Month, voted on by the teachers. The parent of the month is Sara Fultz and this honor was based on a winning essay written by her daughter Alyson, a 16-year-old freshman at DCHS.

For our April awards this month, we chose Sara Fultz as Parent of the Month. Her daughter Alyson wrote an essay for her mom,” said Assistant DCHS Principal Thomas Cagle. “These essays are submitted by the students and a couple of teachers and I go through them to judge. Its not based on the academic quality of the essay but for the meaning of it. Alyson is another good example of a student painting us a picture of how much their parents mean to them and the things they are doing to help keep them successful in school and life. We are really proud of Alyson for taking the time to recognize her mom and we want to thank her mom for all she is doing to continue to guide Alyson and help her have success while she is here at school and beyond that. We congratulate them both,” said Cagle.

Alyson said her mother is very deserving of this honor.

“I really appreciate my mom, even though we sometimes don’t get along. I just really just love my mom because she is kind of like my creator,” said Alyson.

Sara said receiving this award was not something she had expected.

“I’m a little surprised but very grateful to my daughter for sharing her sentiments. She doesn’t share them a lot at home, because a 16-year-old is kind of in their own little world but knowing that she actually does feel that way warms my heart,” said Sara.

“I work from home so I have to tune out the world a little. When it comes time to be Alyson time there’s a lot of dedication. You have to take off one hat and put on another to do everything needed. Sometimes you don’t feel gratification as a parent but I feel it today,” added Sara.

Once she finishes high school Alyson said she would like to study culinary arts or perhaps become a zoological veterinarian.

“For our Student of the Month we have Emily Lattimore,” said Cagle. “She is another student who has been really awesome for us as a teacher’s aide and office aide. We were really blessed with office aides this year including Emily who have helped new students coming into our school orientate. Emily always has a smile on her face and is always very welcoming and polite. We are really going to miss her. We couldn’t be prouder of Emily and all she has accomplished and what she is going to accomplish. We are very proud to award her as Student of the Month,” said Assistant Principal Cagle.

“It’s amazing. It’s been such a good experience in school, and I’ve been an office aide for three years,” said Emily. “They’re always so kind up there and they don’t mind helping anybody to keep you having a good day.”

Daughter of Ronnie and Joyce Lattimore of Smithville, Emily said she intends to further her education in business at Motlow State Community College with an eye toward a career in accounting.

Emily, who graduated last Friday night, said she will miss DCHS.

“I have enjoyed being a student here. Every class I have had and every teacher, I love them so much. All the teachers are amazing,” said Emily.

With the close of this school year, Donna Emmons is retiring, completing her long teaching career at DCHS.

Assistant Principal Cagle said its only fitting that the Teacher of the Month honor for April go to her.

“Mrs. Emmons is leaving us,” Cagle explained. “She’s officially retiring, so I feel like I’m losing somebody pretty close,” he said.

“Mrs. Emmons was invaluable to me even before I became an administrator as a teacher. We worked really close together with the instructional team, helping plan PLCs and train teachers. You can pick a subject and Mrs. Emmons’ name is going to pop up as part of it. I couldn’t have more respect for her as a professional and I’m really going to miss her. We wish her all the best in retirement,” said Cagle.

Emmons said she is honored to be recognized in this way by her peers.

“It’s humbling and I’m very grateful,” Emmons said. “I’m grateful to the system, and for the many years of great comradery and fellowship, and helping kids achieve their goals. I never thought I was going to be a teacher. I was a paralegal for 20 years but then I came here and found my niche. I started subbing in 2000, and then I got the bug to teach. I already had a Master’s degree in mass communication. The first year I taught algebra and later English, journalism, honors English, and yearbook working with Debi Depriest. I have had this RTI job for about 10 years. I really enjoyed working with my students and I still hear from many of them. We are friends on Facebook. That’s the most rewarding thing of all is to see them grow and strive and become teachers or whatever they want to do,” said Emmons

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