TOTY Spotlight: Natasha Donley

Throughout the month of October and November, we will be introducing you to the 2023-2024 Glynn County Teachers of the Year.

Natasha Donley was named Teacher of the Year at Risley Middle School and is one of five finalists in the running for the Glynn County Teacher of the Year. She has taught 6th, 7th and 8th grade math.

Family: Two children, Courtney (14) & Kyri (4), and fiance, Phillip.

Who is your role model? My stepdad, William Brown, is a super hero and role model. If there were such a thing as a perfect human, it would be him. He is the kindest, most hardworking, and most forgiving person I know. Since I was 6, he has supported everything I’ve set out to do ,even when those things were crazy. He inspires me daily to always put my best foot forward and to be the best me I can be. I know if it were not for him, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today.
What book has most influenced you?
The Eyes of the Amaryllis by Natalie Babbitt. It was probably more my 4th grade reading teacher, Mrs. Butler, than it was the book but this is the first book where my imagination came to life with each word on the page. I consider it the foundation for my love of reading.

What is your greatest teaching memory? My greatest teaching moment was the first time a student hugged me with tears in his eyes and asked if he could think of me as his school mom since he did not have a mom at home. In that moment, I learned that my role and purpose as an educator is far greater than just teaching students how to do algebra. I am here to stand in the gaps in whatever way I can so that each student has the best opportunity for a successful future.

What is your favorite quote or personal motto? My personal motto and favorite quote is “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.”
What is a fact about you that most people don't know? Most people don’t know that my favorite subject is actually History and one of my favorite hobbies is reading. 
Any hidden talents or hobbies? I love traveling and learning about different cultures.