Grainger Nissan names Savannah Country Day teacher 2020 Teacher of the Year

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Each year, a local business honors one teacher from the Hostess City.

The Exchange Club of Savannah, along with Grainger Nissan, awarded the 2020 Teacher of the Year Award to Savannah Country Day School teacher Lamar Kirkley.

“It’s very special to be winning this teacher of the year award knowing that there are tons of quality teachers in Chatham County,” Kirkley said. “To be singled out and honored is very special.”

Friends and family gathered at Savannah Country Day to present Kirkley with the plaque commemorating him for his 45 years of work for the school.

Along with his regular teaching schedule, colleagues say Kirkley has coached nearly every sport at the school. 

“His reputation certainly precedes him and the players that played for him and the students that he’s taught through the years all have great things to say about him and he’s kind of a legend in Savannah,” Vice President of Grainger Nissan Mark Grainger said.

For the past 20 years, he coached the basketball team, cross country team, tennis team, and spent the last seven years as the Athletic Director.

He has 43 regional championships and his teams have made numerous state finals.

Kirkley has been named region coach of the year over 40 times as well as inducted into the Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame and in the Armstrong Atlantic Notable Alumni Society.  

His advice for fellow teachers is to let students know that you care.

“First, you have to love what you do,” Kirkley said. “You’ve got to let the kids know that you love them. As long as you do that, everything else works out. I was born to be a teacher. I love teaching. And I hope to continue teaching. I have no plans to retire because I love what I do.”

Grainger Nissan has been giving out this award for five years in conjunction with the Exchange Club.

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