COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – At the Savannah Rapids Pavilion the Columbia County School District celebrated first-year teachers at their ‘Rookie of the Year” event.

“The Rookie of the year event is our first year teachers where we can celebrate all the great work that they did, along with their mentors and all the other people in the school that help support them to be successful this year,” said Superintendent Steven Flint.

“Teaching is a very difficult profession. It’s a job that’s very rewarding because you’re working with kids all day long. We just want to recognize their contributions. Not only to our community but to the world in general,” said Chief Human Resource Officer, Anthony Wright.

Not only did the event honor first year teachers but it also looked towards the future with their “Teaching as a Profession Pathway” program.

“They’re partnered not only with us but also Augusta University. They’re going through this program to become teachers but we’re going to give them an official signing today, so that they get an automatic interview, when they finish their credentials , so they can come back and teach for Columbia County School District,” said Flint.

“We have representatives from all of our high schools, and at the end of the event, five of them are going to be rewarded with one-thousand dollar scholarships,” said Wright.

With the future looking bright for educators, the only thing left to do at the “Rookie of the Year ” event was to declare a winner.

There were a lot of great candidates this year but the prestigious honor went to Columbia Middle School teacher, Luke Yelton.

“It feels incredible, it’s been a great year. It’s been such a learning experience to be part of such a great school district, and to have been a product of the school district, to be winning this is just incredible,” said Yelton.

For all the teachers out there that are just getting into the profession, Yelton has some advice.

“Never stop learning, don’t ever stop learning, if you stop learning you can not be an effective teacher, so just try to find something to keep learning,” said Yelton.