Long-time Bainbridge teacher honored with Arbor Day tree outside her school




With the tree in the ground to the right, Janet Mitchell’s family and colleagues gathers around her. From the left, front, are Keenan Phillips and Braylon Phillips, who are the Arbor Day flag, and Jaisha Harris; middle row, Shemelia Bush, Linda Hitchcock, Amy Robinson, Roxie Marshall, Bonnie Provence, Janet Mitchell (holding the shovel) and Ethel Willis; back row, Bud Holleman of Southern Forestry, Decatur County Commissioner George Anderson, Jones-Wheat Elementary School Principal Larry Clark, Decatur County Administrator Gary Breedlove and Suzanne Brandt of Keep America Beautiful.
Surrounded by Jones-Wheat Elementary School children, Janet Mitchell holds up a shovel after a dogwood tree was planted in her honor. Mitchell has taught school since 1969. Even after retiring, Mitchell continues to assist the school by substitute teacher and helping her community by being a poll worker.
Surrounded by Jones-Wheat Elementary School children, Janet Mitchell holds up a shovel after a dogwood tree was planted in her honor. Mitchell has taught school since 1969. Even after retiring, Mitchell continues to assist the school by substitute teacher and helping her community by being a poll worker.

Article and photos by Carol Heard
Decatur County Government

Veteran Decatur County educator Janet Mitchell was honored Friday with a dogwood tree being planted at Jones-Wheat Elementary School in Bainbridge, which also marked the county’s annual Arbor Day observation.

Decatur County Keep America Beautiful and the Decatur County Board of Education chose to honor Mitchell with the tree because of her unending devotion to her profession and her service to the community.

Mitchell started teaching in Decatur County in 1965 and retired in 1996. In 1989, she was named Jones-Wheat “Teacher of the Year.” Even though retired, Mitchell continues to serve as a substitute teacher at Jones-Wheat, as well as assists the school in many other ways, said Jones-Wheat Principal Larry Clark.

With the tree in the ground to the right, Janet Mitchell’s family and colleagues gathers around her. From the left, front, are Keenan Phillips and Braylon Phillips, who are the Arbor Day flag, and Jaisha Harris; middle row, Shemelia Bush, Linda Hitchcock, Amy Robinson, Roxie Marshall, Bonnie Provence, Janet Mitchell (holding the shovel) and Ethel Willis; back row, Bud Holleman of Southern Forestry, Decatur County Commissioner George Anderson, Jones-Wheat Elementary School Principal Larry Clark, Decatur County Administrator Gary Breedlove and Suzanne Brandt of Keep America Beautiful.
With the tree in the ground to the right, Janet Mitchell’s family and colleagues gathers around her. From the left, front, are Keenan Phillips and Braylon Phillips, who are the Arbor Day flag, and Jaisha Harris; middle row, Shemelia Bush, Linda Hitchcock, Amy Robinson, Roxie Marshall, Bonnie Provence, Janet Mitchell (holding the shovel) and Ethel Willis; back row, Bud Holleman of Southern Forestry, Decatur County Commissioner George Anderson, Jones-Wheat Elementary School Principal Larry Clark, Decatur County Administrator Gary Breedlove and Suzanne Brandt of Keep America Beautiful.

Mitchell said she was honored for the recognition, and it motivates her even more to continue to serve.

“I will work as long as this tree grows. I just hope they keep watering it,” she said in jest.

She also has served as a poll worker for approximately eight years and president of American Legion Ladies Unit 502 for seven years.

Each year, Keep America Beautiful plants a tree on Arbor Day, which is a day set aside to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.

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Veteran Decatur County teacher Janet Mitchell
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Jones-Wheat Elementary Principal Dr. Larry Clark and Bud Holleman of Southern Forestry dig a hole to plant a new tree in front of the school’s Shotwell Street location as Decatur County Commissioner George Anderson, in white shirt, looks on.

 




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