WRHS Teacher Named Gifted Teacher of the Year | People
HOUSTON COUNTY, GA – Warner Robins High School teacher Lou Leskosky was awarded Gifted Teacher of the Year for the Houston County School System. The surprise announcement was made at the Houston County Association of Gifted Children (HCAGC) meeting on Dec. 6. Leskosky was surprised and congratulated by his family, Principal Steve Monday and several other co-workers when the announcement was made.
Leskosky teaches Honors Ninth Grade English, Humanities and AP U.S. Government. He has taught in the gifted education program for the past three years. Prior to joining the Warner Robins High faculty in 2008, he practiced law, having earned a law degree from the University of Georgia after earning an undergraduate degree at Duke. In the summer, he also teaches the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), a summer camp for gifted students who score in the top one percent on tests.
On his application, Leskosky explained why he became a teacher. “One of my key reasons for getting into education, in making the shift from a lawyer to a teacher, was to work with gifted students and ensure their needs were met and that they were shepherded into the successful careers they have the potential to achieve.”
He loves his teaching career, commenting, “I adore what I teach. Not only do I get to ping-pong from parliamentary procedure in the Senate, to Roman aqueducts, to Ralph and Jack's struggle in the Lord of the Flies, all in the course of one day, but also I ping-pong from ninth graders, to tenth graders and eleventh graders, to twelfth graders over the course of my day. I appreciate the breadth of honors I get to work with both over the course of a day and over a student's educational career. I find myself in a position where I can see these students' trajectories, particularly my freshmen, more clearly than most. I know what they need to know in four years for Humanities, because I will be teaching them that material. I know how important it is for them to take an AP course as a sophomore to get the experience in what I affectionately call the ‘trainer APs,’ mine included. Again, I find myself as the shepherd for these students, to lead them to become the most comprehensive, successful, and broad-based students that they can be.”
Pamela Stanescu, fellow teacher of gifted students, wrote about Leskosky, “How does Lou Leskosky manage to create such magic in the classroom? By being everything a gifted student wants and admires in a teacher. He is smart, savvy, talented, witty, demanding, supportive, and caring. He cares about gifted students. He gets gifted students. He understands that they need and crave compelling, challenging academic content and they get it every day in his classroom. He also understands that they enjoy learning that is upbeat, fast-paced and lively.”
As Gifted Teacher of the Year, Leskosky was presented several gifts valued at about $200 from the following sponsors: Anderson Bakery, Books are Fun, Chick-fil-A, Edge Fitness, Fatz Café, Outback Steakhouse, Simply Southern Sweets, Stevi B’s and The Swanson. In addition, from the Board of Education he also received a certificate, a HCBOE Teacher of the Year pin, a BOE cup with candy, a logo clip magnet and a coffee cup.
Criteria for Gifted Teacher of the Year include, but are not limited to:
· membership in HCAGC and GAGC;
· gifted program teacher for at least two years;
· commitment to teaching gifted students;
· advocacy for gifted education; and
· evidence of leadership within the school and the district.
Leskosky is pictured (right) with Principal Monday following the award annoucement. Warner Robins High is located at401 South Davis Drive in Warner Robins. For more information about the Gifted Teacher of the Year, please contact the Director of Gifted, Jan Jacobsen, at Jan.Jacobsen@hcbe.net or 478-988-6200, ext. 10393.