CARTERSVILLE, Ga., Feb. 6, 2015 – Woodland High School’s Brandie Freeman is once again
in the spotlight for her excellence in teaching. The 2013-14 Bartow County Teacher of the Year
was recently named the 2015 High School Science Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Science
Teachers Association (GSTA).
Freeman, who began teaching nine years ago and has spent her career at WHS, believes one of
the keys to her success as an educator is her approach.
She said, “Teachers must be salesmen of the content especially in a society were the youth is
very much acclimated to instant gratification and being inundated with appealing music, food
and clothing styles. Your teaching style has to be very entertaining and appealing. You have to
sell your content and believe in your product with enthusiasm in the tasks you ask them to
Another variation in her teaching philosophy is the order in which she presents the content. By
assigning all the labs and hands-on activities prior to the lecture and PowerPoint presentation,
Freeman believes it levels the playing field. Not all students have the same cultural background
or family support, so they may not be able to relate to a concept concerning the beach or a
“It is the same premise as the design of Ikea [the retail furniture store]. When you go there, you
see all the furniture assembled and staged in rooms. You can sit on it, see how it interacts with
other pieces in the room and touch it. Then you go to the basement and pick out the cardboard
boxes that have no pictures. However, you know what you are getting because you already saw
it. No one would buy anything at Ikea if it were just boxes on the shelf.
“The prominent teaching style of lecturing first basically gives you the box first and expects you
to put it together never having seen the finished product.”
Freeman will receive the award at the GSTA Conference on Feb. 6. Along with the recognition
and conference admission, she will receive $1000. Freeman said she plans to use the money for a
trip to Hawaii.
Her other accomplishments include being a three-time presenter at the GSTA Conference, a
member of the Georgia Department of Education’s Superintendent Teacher Advisory Board and
a mentor to new teachers. Freeman also works with the GDOE to train environmental and earth
science teachers. Last year, she was selected by the GSTA for a ScienceQuest Teaching
Scholarship and a Mini-Grant Winner.
“I would encourage people who want to teach to enter the profession,” Freeman said. “Even
though cultural respect, political support and job availability may not be as high as in years past.
There are plenty of opportunities to go into the classroom and make an impact. To help not only
your students, but also more experienced teachers and the community to further learning.”