Calhoun County Superintendent of Schools Ralph Yoder has announced that the Calhoun County School District (CCSD) has named the 2018 Teacher and School-Related Employee of the Year. Blountstown High School (BHS) Science/Digital Media/Aerospace teacher, Amanda McGhee was named Teacher of the Year, while Blountstown Elementary School (BES) Paraprofessional Debra Abner-Jones was named as the School-Related Employee of the Year.

Mrs. McGhee has been teaching at BHS for over ten years. Currently, she teaches Advanced Placement Science, along with Experimental Science, Digital Media and Aerospace Technologies (in conjunction with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University).

As part of her application for Teacher of the Year, Mrs. McGhee stated, “[As a teenager], high school (at BHS) was the place with caring teachers who took the time to teach you the content while maintaining discipline, and at the same time, asking about your sick brother or sister at home. They seemed to know everything, and even when they were correcting my "bad" behavior, I knew that their primary concern was for me to be mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy. I am inspired every day to bring this same sense of wonder, the feeling of connectedness, hope, and a passion for learning to my students. To pass along what was given to me, and seek to validate, teach, and inspire the next generation.”                                     

Dr. Debbie Williams, BHS Principal, shared this about Mrs. McGhee, “As a teacher, Mrs. McGhee teaches her students the foundational skills and then acts as a facilitator to the students and nurtures the students’ ideas to create video game apps, build robots, create videos, use 3D printers, fly drones to record video, etc. Mrs. McGhee teaches students strategies for critical thinking and involves the students in project-based learning that allows students to apply their critical thinking skills and mathematical skills. Mrs. McGhee gives students the freedom to explore ideas and to be creative; she nurtures student thinking. Mrs. McGhee does not teach students to memorize…she teaches students to think and problem solve.”

Mrs. Debra Abner-Jones is in her third year at BES. She has served in various roles within Calhoun County, including with the Calhoun County Public Library System and through her church.

Mrs. Pam Bozeman, BES Principal, shared this about Mrs. Jones, “Debra is a team player. Despite the challenges of her position, she remains calm, kind, and loving at all times. Debra has a reputation of working with some of the most difficult students. With her patient and consistent attention and assistance, they are able to blossom.”

Nominees for the Teacher and School-Related Employee of the Year from all school and worksites include: 




Altha Public School

Linda Graham

Georgia Granger

Blountstown Elementary

Starla Baggett

Debra Abner-Jones

Blountstown Middle

Jamie McCalvin

Sabrina Dunlap

Blountstown High

Amanda McGhee

Steve Jackson

Carr School

Joanna Pitts

Cheryl McDaniel


Barbara Hathaway

Faye Smith

Special Programs Office


Alvin Webb

Bus Driver


Donna Whitfield

Superintendent Yoder stated, “I am so fortunate to lead such an amazing team. The caliber and character of those selected by their peers to represent their school or work site is off the chart. The Calhoun County School District is blessed to employ these people who make an impact, each and every day.”