Long Cane educator named Teacher of the Year

Published 6:08 pm Friday, March 15, 2019

On Wednesday, Long Cane Middle School’s Traviera Sewell was named the Troup County School System’s Teacher of the Year.

Sewell is a sixth-grade social studies teacher and is in her fourth-year teaching. She also teaches Read180 and Aerobics.

“I was in tears,” Sewell said when her name was called. “I was surrounded by my family, my co-workers, my friends and faculty, so I felt really blessed and humbled but super excited also.”

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The other finalists were Jessica Mobley, a fourth-grade English language arts/writing teacher at Ethel Kight Elementary School and Jessica Bowden, an agriculture education teacher at LaGrange High School.

Sewell said she always wanted to be a teacher, especially after teachers played such a large role in her life.

Sewell must have been a pretty good student too because some of her former teachers have written her encouraging letters over the last few weeks. Her kindergarten teacher even emailed her on Wednesday night.

“I had the best teachers. They were great role models. They were great mentors, and the way they connected to me, that’s something I knew I wanted to do for kids, especially in our generation today,” she said. “Our kids need some strong loving. I think God called me to teach. I work really well with students, and they respond really well to me, so I’m able to build those relationships and help them want to learn. I knew I wanted to teach for a very long time.”

Sewell is a LaGrange native. She went to the Troup County School System from kindergarten through twelfth grade and graduated from LaGrange High School in 2010.

“I definitely wanted to come back and give to my own community. This is where I grew up. This is where I call home, and this is where my family is from,” Sewell said. “Troup County had such a big impact on me, and I wanted to inspire other students and other people in my community, so I’m definitely glad I got to come back home and give back to my community.”

Sewell earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia, her master’s from Columbus State University and her specialist degree from Liberty University. She’s currently working to earn a doctorate degree.

She credits her mother, Tanya Boyd, for inspiring her to be the person she is today.

“She has made everything possible for me and my siblings. She has sacrificed to make sure we all had what we needed, and I literally don’t think I can thank her enough for all she’s done for us and done for me,” Sewell said. “She was the first one that jumped up last night when they said my name, and I couldn’t have asked for a better mom. She’s the rock of the family. She holds everybody together.”

Long Cane Middle School Principal Chip Giles said his school is thankful to have Sewell.

“Miss Sewell is an extraordinary teacher. She cares so much for her students. She is cheerful and excited each day,” Giles said. “Her lessons are fun and engaging. I cannot ever remember a more professional and effective teacher. Her students absolutely love her. I’m so glad she’s [at Long Cane.]”