Georgia Power awards $40,000+ in grants to dozens of new teachers
Annual program assists more than 350 new teachers since launch in 2004

ATLANTA, Jan. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power today announced that 41 new public school teachers from across the state will each receive a $1,000 New Teacher Assistance Grant this year from the company. The company awards the grants each year to provide the state's newest teachers with funds to purchase classroom supplies and start their careers as pre-K, elementary, middle and high school teachers. Since launching the program in 2004, the company has awarded more than $350,000 in individual grants to more than 350 new teachers in communities across the state.

Georgia Power New Teacher Assistance Grant recipients, Brooke Byrd and Erin Wedereit, accepts their grants during a presentation at the Columbia County Board of Education meeting.

"The foundation for Georgia's future economic success is being laid in classrooms throughout Georgia every day," said Anne Kaiser, vice president of community and economic development for Georgia Power. "Supporting education is supporting our state's future and we're committed to assisting teachers as they guide and prepare tomorrow's leaders."

Teacher nominations were submitted to Georgia Power by Georgia public colleges and universities that have schools of education. To be eligible for a grant, candidates must be in the top 25 percent of their class, be a first-year teacher employed by a public school in Georgia and demonstrate a high aptitude for teaching. Grant recipients are encouraged to use the funds to purchase items such as books, educational CDs or DVDs, computers, projectors, or other supplies to enhance their classrooms.

"The New Teacher Assistance Grant program is meaningful to educators as many of us want the new teachers to understand how much they are appreciated," said Paul Alberto, dean and regent's professor in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University.

2015 New Teacher Assistance Grants Recipients:
Central Region (Macon)

  • Elizabeth Brown, Cochran (Bleckley County Middle School)
  • Christopher Drakes, Fort Valley (Hunt Elementary School)
  • Leroy Brooks, Jr., Fort Valley (Fort Valley Middle School)
  • Andrea Sowell, Macon (Howard High School)
  • Ashleigh Lincoln, Macon (Westside High School)
  • Christopher Leshoure, Macon (Westside High School)

Coastal Region (Savannah)

  • Cherie Alston, Brunswick (Altama Elementary School)
  • Brandon Evans, Brunswick (Brunswick High School)
  • Owen Nix, Springfield (Effingham County High School)
  • Makenzie Simons, Statesboro (Mattie Lively Elementary)

East Region (Augusta)

  • Brooke Byrd, Grovetown (Cedar Ridge Elementary School)
  • Erin Wedereit, Grovetown (Grovetown Middle School)

Metro Atlanta

  • Trey Summerville, Atlanta (Kindezi Charter School)
  • Taylor Johnson, Canton (Hasty Elementary School)
  • Derek Tobin, Canton (Creekland Middle School)
  • Cassandra Allen, College Park (Benjamin Banneker High School)
  • Anthony Chatfield, Covington (Eastside High School)
  • Binh Hoang, Fayetteville (Whitewater High School)
  • Christopher Jones, Fayetteville (Spring Hill Elementary School)
  • Jessica Peal, Gainesville (Chestatee Elementary School)
  • Kayon McFarlane, Hampton (Hampton Middle School)
  • Kelsey Wilson, Jonesboro (Lee Street Elementary School)
  • Brennan McGee, Kennesaw (Pine Mountain Middle School)
  • Jamario Shade, Lawrenceville (Sweetwater Middle School)
  • Meghan Euliano, Lithia Springs (Lithia Springs Elementary School)
  • Glenn Chance, Lithonia (Martin Luther King Jr. High School)
  • Ashley Jarrett, Suwannee (Collins Hill High School)
  • Brandon Davis, Rex (Rex Mill Middle School)
  • Zachary Kroll, Roswell (Centennial High School)

Northeast Region (Athens)

  • Tyler Cleveland, Dawsonville (Riverview Elementary School)
  • Ethan Shirley, Flowery Branch (Davis Middle School)

Northwest Region (Rome)

  • Ashley Sutton, Carrollton (Carrollton High School)
  • Rachael Sneed, Dalton (Pleasant Grove Elementary School)

South Region (Albany/Valdosta)

  • Chessica Ross, Albany (Westover High School)
  • Martin Chaplin, Albany (Turner Elementary School)
  • Emily Smoak, Ocilla (Irwin County Middle School)
  • Kelly Dekle, Tifton (Tift County High School)
  • Robert Bullington, Tifton (Len Lastinger Primary School)

West Region (Columbus)

  • Amber Byous, Barnesville (Lamar County Elementary School)
  • Justin Gunnels, Barnesville (Lamar County Middle School)
  • Hailey Hinson, Columbus (River Road Elementary School)

Georgia Power's participation in Georgia education initiatives is broad and able to give back to communities through the annual New Teacher Assistance Grants, the company's Learning Power program for K-12 teachers and students, workforce development activities, as well as supporting the work of organizations such as Junior Achievement. Georgia Power works to encourage teachers to help students be academically successful. For more information about how the company is playing a role in the advancement of education and building the highly skilled workforce of tomorrow, visit

About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), one of the nation's largest generators of electricity.  Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, 21st century coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind.  Consistently recognized as a leader in customer service, Georgia Power was recently ranked highest in overall business customer satisfaction among large utilities in the South by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit and connect with the company on Facebook ( and Twitter (

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For further information: Georgia Power Media Relations, (404) 506-7676 or (800) 282-1696,