Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Commissioner Avery D. Niles Conyers educator Harold James Farmer was named 2017 Teacher of the Year for the Department of Juvenile Justice Georgia Preparatory Academy (GPA).
Farmer, a social studies teacher at the Rockdale Regional Youth Detention Center (RYDC), was recognized as Teacher of the Year as part of winter graduation ceremonies for students from DJJ secure facilities throughout the state. Avery D. Niles, Superintendent of the DJJ School System, honored Farmer at the State of Georgia’s Tift College campus in Forsyth.
“We are genuinely impressed with the progress our students are making and by the dedication of our principals and teachers like Harold Farmer,” Niles said.
Farmer has spent his entire 15-year teaching career with GPA. When asked about his teaching philosophies he stated: “As educators, we must understand what is needed to pull the best out of our students. Activities should be real-world and practical so students can stay engaged and enjoy what they are learning. I want my students to make connections to what is going on now and what took place in history.”
Farmer founded the “Man Cave,” a parental engagement program that aims to strengthen the bonds between youths and the male figures in their lives.
“Through planned activities, the Man Cave creates the perfect environment for the students’ fatherly figures to share their experiences with the students, stress the importance of education and teach them what it means to act like a man,” said Farmer. “The Man Cave is one of our favorite programs. We want to show the students that we care about them as people, and not just academically.”