Meet the Teachers of the Year: Dr. Gene Hundley

In this ongoing series, you’ll find profiles on Teachers of the Year from Emanuel County Schools presented alphabetically by last name. This group was actually selected for the 2019-2020 school year. Per Georgia’s School Superintendent Richard Woods, the 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year Program was suspended to adapt to the realities of COVID-19. As a result, the conference and gala planned for May 2020 were postponed to 2021, and there were no applications due to the state in December 2020. The next application due date is set for December 2021. The current 2021 Teacher of the Year cohort (the application that was due in December 2019) will become the 2022 cohort in an effort to ensure these teachers are recognized fully. Thus, the cohort being recognized by The Crossroads Chronicle is as follows: Dawn Boddiford, Rachel Burkhalter, Gene Hundley, Mary Hundley, Alexandria Walden, and Frank Wimberly.

Dr. Gene Hundley currently teaches sixth through eighth grade band at Swainsboro Middle School. He represents both SMS as well as Emanuel County Schools’ Teacher of the Year.

He earned his B.S, and M.Ed. degrees in Music Education with an emphasis in piano and low brass from Georgia Southern University and his Ed.S. and PhD in computer technology from Nova Southeastern University.

“I knew that I always enjoyed computers and music. However, Dr. Braz, a GSU professor, spent many hours outside of class discussing music and life in a way that inspired me to choose a profession where I could not just earn a living but also impact the lives of many students,” Hundley said about his career choice.

His first teaching job was at Savannah Christian Prepatory School teaching band and computer classes for four years. He has been a band director in Emanuel County for 25 years and has served as a part time instructor at East Georgie College for 13 years. In the past, Hundley has taught both beginning and advanced computer and music classes at the middle school, high school, and collegiate levels.

In addition, Hundley has served as the Georgia Music Association District 10 Chairman and as the GMEA District 10 Band Chair. He was also inducted in the International Honorary Bandmasters fraternity, Phi Beta Mu in 2020.

“The SMS Band has received Superior Rating at the GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation for the past 12 years, and our band has consistently had one of the highest number of students selected to District Honor Band,” he added proudly.

As you may have read, Hundley’s favorite subject to teach is band because he can see the students develop from knowing absolutely nothing about playing an instrument to earning a spot in the all-state band or performing in Nashville, Tennessee at the Grand Ole Opry or even Carnegie Hall in New York. Dr. Hundley loves seeing students impacted by music, and he loves the fact that the community is so supportive of students and their accomplishments.

As Hundley says, it is a humbling experience to think that something you did may impact their lives in a positive manner and on that note, Hundley says education is the noblest profession. “There are so many outstanding educators in the system that it is truly humbling and surreal to be asked to represent Emanuel County.”

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