Teachers have the ability to encourage, inspire and leave a significant impact on their students long after they leave school.
That’s why State School Superintendent John Barge said he created the Fountain Award, named for a teacher that left such an impression on him.
In a surprise ceremony Friday, Barge presented South Forsyth High School teacher Debra Moore with the award.
A former student nominated Moore for the honor, which is given once a quarter to a teacher who had an impact on someone’s life and career.
Barge said the student, Jordan Cushman, realized he wanted to study business management and marketing by taking Moore’s classes and participating in the DECA club, which she supervises.
“Of all the things that he learned in high school, what he learned from her helped him the most as he studied in business school and began to work in the real world,” Barge said. “Now, he works at Google in business development, sales and marketing.”
Moore was surprised with the recognition, which she was “thankful” to receive.
“To know that I made a difference in somebody’s life just means everything to me,” she said.
When Moore started the DECA club at the school, her first class had 13 students. Today, South boasts the world’s largest chapter, with 1,039 students.
According to South Principal Jeff Cheney, Moore has been a model teacher in preparing students professionally.
“She has always been an award-winning teacher in our eyes,” Cheney said. “Thank you for taking the time to recognize her.”