On Wednesday morning, January 30, during the second block of school, Mrs. Cathy Latham, AP Economics Teacher from Coffee High, was pleasantly surprised when Dr. Chris Cannon, Associate Director and Chief Program Officer from the Georgia Council on Economic Education (GCEE) in Atlanta, personally came to Mrs. Latham’s classroom to recognize her as the 2019 Georgia Economics Teacher of the Year. Amid tears and cheers from her students, Mrs. Latham was overwhelmed. Joining Dr. Cannon in the announcement and celebration was Dr. Rowland Cummings, Principal of Coffee High and Dr. Morris Leis, Superintendent.
“Every year, we recognize one or two teachers that have demonstrated excellence in the field of teaching economics and personal finance.” Stated Dr. Cannon. “The selection committee was incredibly impressed with Mrs. Latham’s ability to make subject matter relevant, get students interested in the content, and maintain her impressive scores on state tests.”
Part of the process when nominated by GCEE, is to be observed in the classroom. After only two weeks into this school year, the observation team came to Mrs. Latham’s classroom at Coffee High. Dr. Sean Lennon, from Valdosta State’s School of Education, who has served as an evaluator for numerous years was quoted after visiting her class stating, “That’s what a master teacher looks like in every way.”
Since 1972, the Georgia Council has been conducting workshops and provided learning experiences for teachers to help them teach economics and personal finance. Mrs. Latham has been participating in the workshops for over 10 years. In addition, she has been active with GCEE by participating on some of their sister organization boards, and most recently by taking some of her students to the first annual Personal Finance Challenge in Atlanta, where they placed fourth in the state. Mrs. Latham has presented at numerous state and national conferences and assisted GCEE in writing questions for their online budgeting game.
At the state level, Mrs. Latham serves as an Educational Consultant for the Georgia Department of Education. Within her role she is responsible for writing new Economic Standards and serves as a workshop instructor for AP Economic Education.
Mrs. Latham is completing her 26th year in education, all of which has been on the campus of Coffee High School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in English and History from Baylor University and a Masters of Education from Troy University with a concentration in Government and Finance. Summer of 2017, Mrs. Latham earned National Certification in Personal Finance Education from the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City. In the classroom, Mrs. Latham is EVERFI Certified. By using this in her classroom she is able to reinforce financial literacy with her students.
“Financial literacy is a passion of mine and it is how I hook the students into economics,” stated Mrs. Latham.
“We are so proud of Mrs. Latham as the Georgia Council on Economic Education’s 2019 Georgia Economics Teacher of the Year,” said Dr. Rowland Cummings, Coffee High Principal. “She is an asset to our staff, our school system and most importantly to the students she teaches.”