Mr. Collin Jones, the current peer leadership and AP psychology teacher at Lanier High School, has been voted by staff as the 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year.
Mr. Jones graduated in the class of 2008 at North Gwinnett High School, and graduated in the class of 2012 from Harvard University, earning his degree in the Comparative Study of Religion. He later earned his master’s degree in applied psychology. This year marks his ninth year of teaching. He started out in the Teach for America Program in 2012, and he taught social studies for two years at Kipp South Fulton Academy in East Point. This is his seventh year teaching high school at Lanier, and during his time at Lanier, he has taught U.S. history, peer leadership and AP psychology.
Every week, Mr. Jones records Zoom videos with his peer leadership students that are shown during Longhorn Time (Academy Class) around the school. In these videos, he has discussions with the students, asking them about how they’re feeling and discussing the meaning of being a peer leader.
He describes his teaching philosophy being “… based on the idea that all students can learn on high levels, and all students can lead themselves and lead others.” He also said, “I try to help students understand themselves better and the world around them, so they can make a positive influence on the world. I believe that with high standards, with high expectations and with high support that all students can learn and be successful.”
When asked how he felt being chosen, he said, “I am honored to have been selected as Teacher of the Year by my colleagues. I work with great folks and in a fantastic department, so I appreciate Lanier’s support and recognition. I also have wonderful students who work incredibly hard in my classes, so they deserve recognition, as well!”
Mr. Harford, a history department colleague of Mr. Jones, said, “I admire the strong relationships Mr. Jones has with his students. It seems like all students who take AP psych thoroughly enjoy it and him.”
Mr. Harford added, “Mr. Jones deserved Teacher of the Year because of the awesome teaching strategies he implements in his room. I’ve seen them in action and they are [very] effective.”