Noel Giles and Monica Tugwell, both of Colquitt County Schools' Gifted Education with Academic Rigor (GEAR) Gifted Center in Moultrie, have been named the Distinguished Educators of 2018 by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust.
On April 10, Governor Nathan Deal will sign a proclamation declaring April 15-22, 2018, as “Holocaust Days of Remembrance” in Georgia. By law, the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust is charged with holding an annual remembrance observance.
Giles and Tugwell will be recognized as the Distinguished Educators of 2018 on April 20 during the 2018 Days of Remembrance ceremony at the State Capitol.

The Distinguished Educator of the Year award is presented annually by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. This award recognizes educators who demonstrate excellence and creativity in lessons or activities which focus on the Holocaust, human rights, civil rights, or character development. They motivate students to become responsible citizens and active members of their communities. 

Giles is a fifth grade English Language Arts teacher. Tugwell is a fifth grade Social Studies and Science teacher. Both attended a "Lessons for Today: Teaching About the Holocaust" workshop for educators implemented by the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. They utilized the resources, activities, and pedagogical approaches provided at the workshop in their classrooms.

As a teacher of fifth grade gifted students, I take my responsibility very seriously. I am acutely aware that the students sitting in my room will be the leaders of our community, state, and nation, and have the capacity to change the world for the better or for the worse." - Monica Tugwell

In cooperation with the Commission, Giles and Tugwell hosted two speaker programs with Holocaust survivor George Rishfeld in November 2017. One program was open to the entire community and included over 400 attendees. The following day, Mr. Rishfeld spoke to 850 students.

In March 2018, the students that participated in Giles' and Tugwell's Holocaust project visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

[Our] students have successfully acquired an understanding of the importance of not being prejudiced and are prepared to make positive choices in becoming productive citizens to ensure something this horrendous never happens again." - Noel Giles

Six candles will be lit at the Holocaust Days of Remembrance ceremony in honor of the victims, liberators, and rescuers of the Holocaust. In addition to the Distinguished Educator of the Year award, the program also includes the presentation of the the Humanitarian Award and recognition of the student winners of the annual Creative Arts Student Contest. The theme for the 2018 Days of Remembrance is "Incite, Resist, Document: Weighing the Power of Words."