November 28, 2018

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Anna Joy Holton Named VSU College of Education and Human Services Top Graduate

Anna Joy Holton

VALDOSTA — Anna Joy Holton of Valdosta, Georgia, is the recipient of the Fall 2018 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services at Valdosta State University.

The President’s Award for Academic Excellence is presented to the graduating student with the highest grade point average in each of VSU’s six colleges — Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of the Arts, James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Mathematics.

VSU will celebrate its 226th commencement on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8.

Holton will serve as the official banner carrier for the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services during the undergraduate commencement ceremony at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, on the VSU Front Lawn. She will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education in middle grades education, emphasis in mathematics and social studies, and an Honors College Certificate.

“I am humbled and honored to represent the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services and lead my fellow graduates into the commencement ceremony,” she said. “I did not make it this far on my own. First, I would like to thank my Lord and Savior for giving me the strength and wisdom to complete my degree. Second, I would like to thank my parents and family for loving, supporting, and encouraging me to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher. To my middle grades education classmates, I will forever be thankful for the friendships cultivated with each one of you and for the memories made. I cannot wait to see all that you all accomplish in the future. Finally, I would like to thank my professors, supervisors, and mentor teacher. Each one of you has played a unique role in my college education, guiding, teaching, and encouraging me on my way. I will always be grateful for the time you devoted and invested in my life.”

As a student at VSU, Holton was a Zell Miller Scholar and a member of Alpha Chi: National College Honor Society, Kappa Delta Pi: International Honor Society in Education, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Alpha Chi, and Sigma Alpha Pi: The National Society of Leadership and Success. She was also a member of the Dean’s List during her time at VSU and a recipient of the Colquitt Electric Membership Corporation Scholarship.

Holton had an article titled “Learning from High-Performing Middle Schools in High-Poverty Areas” published in the Reflections, an official publication of the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She co-authored this piece with Dr. Greg Harrell, a professor in VSU’s Department of Mathematics.

Holton serves middle school girls as a Sunday School teacher and youth leader at Morningside Baptist Church of Valdosta. She also helps with Vacation Bible School every summer. For the past three years, she has volunteered at the Colton Shaw Foundation Skeet Shoot, which raises funds for scholarships.

Holton plans to continue her education after graduation by pursuing a master’s degree in the areas of curriculum and instruction. She plans to work as a long-term substitute in mathematics at a local elementary school during this time and then pursue a full-time position teaching either mathematics or social studies at the middle school level. She is the daughter of Ward and Julie Holton.

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