It’s apparent as she walks through the Gordon Central High School auditorium answering a swarm of students’ questions and directing them to the appropriate places, always with a smile on her face.
This is the kind of affinity for teaching that has sustained Watters’ 24-year teaching career in Gordon County and helped her to be named the 2013 Teacher of the Year (TOTY) for the county on Oct. 18.
“It’s an honor to be picked,” said Watters of receiving TOTY. “There are so many dedicated teachers in Gordon County.”
Watters, who has been the director of choral activities and co-director of theater at Gordon Central for the past 11 years, has directed four European tours with the GCHS chorale and has led students to six literary vocal music titles and numerous region titles in both vocal music and theater.
Watters graduated from Shorter College with a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1988, started her career at Sonoraville Elementary School and has been in the county ever since.
Although Watters grew up around Atlanta because that is where her father received a job; she said her roots were planted in Northwest Georgia earlier.
“My father was from the area and my mother was from Rome,” she said. “So, it was a real shake of reality, (when she was hired in Gordon County) because I could have easily been one of these kids.”
Watters said she is inspired by the hard work of her students and said at chorale competitions other schools have taken notice, too.
“GCHS isn’t a performing arts school, but we been have called ‘a school that performs art’,” she said.
She also accredits the community and their hard work for the reason why she stays.
“We have people who do what is needed, not expected,” Watters said. “That’s the great thing about the Gordon County community.”
Since her beginnings at SES, Watters has completed her master’s degree in music education from Shenandoah University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in music education from Capella University
She said the most rewarding aspect has been staying in contact with her students after they have graduated.
“They (past students) will come to shows and continue to show their support, and that’s what’s important,” Watters said.
Watters said she hopes to continue her work at Gordon Central.