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Monday July 6th, 2015 7:28AM

Georgia Power to award grants to two local teachers

By Staff
ATLANTA - Georgia Power will bestow $1,000 awards this month on two area teachers as part of their New Teacher Assistance Grant program.

Scott DeGraff, a special education teacher at Chestatee High School in the Hall County School System and Bryanna Hembry, a Pre-K teacher at New Holland Core Knowledge Academy in Gainesville are among 40 teachers across the state to receive the grants.

DeGraff is a graduate of The University of North Georgia, and he will receive his $1,000 grant at the Hall County Board of Education meeting on October 14. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Hembry will receive her grant award at the October 21 meeting of the Gainesville School Board.

A statement from Georgia Power said that according to a recent national survey, 9 out of 10 public school teachers report paying for school supplies and instructional materials out of their own pockets. Additionally, research has shown that up to 50 percent of new teachers leave the profession within five years. Since 2004, Georgia Power has awarded these grants annually to provide new teachers with much-needed funds to purchase classroom supplies and encourage them to stay in the profession.

Teacher nominations were submitted to Georgia Power by the 20 Georgia public colleges and universities that have schools of education. To be eligible for the grant, candidates had to be in the top 25 percent of their class, be a first-year teacher employed by a public school in Georgia and demonstrate a high aptitude for teaching.

"Elevating the education of Georgia's youth is critical to the continued economic vitality of the state," said Pedro Cherry, vice president of community and economic development for Georgia Power. "Georgia businesses have a responsibility to support education and this grant program is just one of the ways that Georgia Power is showing our commitment to the state's teachers and the important work they do every day in the classroom."

About Georgia Power

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, 21st century coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Consistently recognized as a leader in customer service, Georgia Power was recently ranked highest in overall business customer satisfaction among large utilities in the South by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower) and Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower).
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