Each semester, the College of Education and Human Services asks our students to nominate mentors who have had a positive, significant impact on their journey to becoming a future educator. Two winners are chosen each semester based on the information provided by the student in the nomination form.

Outstanding Mentor Educator Award - Teacher: Nominees for this award come from the fields of Art, Elementary, Foreign Language, Healthcare Science, Health/Physical, Middle Grades, Music, Secondary, and Special Education as well as English to Speakers of Other Languages, and Career-Technical Specializations.

Outstanding Mentor Educator Award - Service and Leader: Nominees for this award come from the fields of Curriculum & Instruction, Educational Leadership, Instructional Technology, School Counseling, School Media Specialist, Speech-Language Pathology, and Teacher Leadership.

2023 Winners


  • Shila Heeter, from Dewar Elementary School in Valdosta, GA.
  • Jennifer Ko, from Level Creek Elementary School in Suwanee, GA.


  • Brandon Tucker, from Treutlen Middle/High School in Soperton, GA.
  • Michael Taylor, from Long County High School in Ludowici, GA.

2022 Winners


  • Charlotte Harper, from Berrien County Elementary School in Nashville, GA.
  • Stephanie Hill, from Fernandina Beach Middle School in Fernandina Beach, FL.
  • Katie Siceofffrom Jerger Elementary School in Thomasville, GA.
  • Ashlyn Brentsfrom Hand-in-Hand Primary School in Thomasville, GA. 


  • Melissa Alexander, from Brooks County Board of Education in Quitman, GA.
  • Mary Gebel, from Harper Elementary School in Thomasville, GA.

2021 Winners


  • Jennifer Humphries, from Garrison-Pilcher Elementary School in Thomasville, GA
  • Maggie Harperfrom Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, GA.
  • Jordan Nelms, from Hand-in-Hand Primary School in Thomasville, GA


  • Ashley Bulloch, from Thomas County Middle School in Thomasville, GA.
  • LaTonia Butts, from Westside High School in Macon, GA


Valdosta State University Blazin' Apple Awards

Each fall, the Dewar College of Education and Human Services hosts an event to recognize and award teachers who have served as a mentor for teacher candidates. Mentor teachers who have served for 3-4, 5-6, or 7+ years as well as mentors who are new or who provided professional development to teacher candidates or other educators are recognized during the award ceremony. This event also provides teacher candidates the opportunity to meet, connect, and create professional connections with their peers, mentors, school administrators, and faculty/staff of VSU. Pictures from the event are featured on this page's slideshow.