Giddens name TPL’s ‘Tutor of the Year’

Published 11:00 pm Monday, December 10, 2012

Elizabeth Giddens, a Troy University student, was named the Troy Public Library’s “2012 Outstanding Tutor of the Year.” She was selected through an extensive process from 150 tutors. Pictured with Giddens are Teresa Colvin, TPL children and youth librarian, and Lamar Woody, a student in the library’s tutoring program.

Sometimes, it’s those “under the radar” who have the greatest impact.

Elizabeth Giddens is one of those.

Giddens was selected the Troy Public Library’s 2012 Outstanding Tutor of the Year and was recognized at an award presentation at the library Monday afternoon.

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“The award is for dedicated and valued community service,” said Teresa Colvin, children’s librarian. “I don’t know of anyone whose service is more dedicated or more valued that Elizabeth’s. She is not the kind of person who wants attention brought to her. She is content to go about ‘serving’ while under the radar. We congratulate her for the difference she has made in a young person’s life.”

Colvin said Giddens came into the TPL’s tutoring program for credit in a Troy University class. She began tutoring a seventh grade student in math and spelling.

“Lamar Woody transferred from another school into the Troy City School System,” Colvin said. “Elizabeth was very patient in working with him and did a great job of encouraging him.

“As his confidence improved, his grades improved and so did his attitude. He showed an increased interest in learning and it was evident that he wanted to do better.”

Gibbons continued to work with Woody far beyond the 10 hours of tutoring that are required for some of the college courses that participate in the tutoring program. She has continued to work with him for two years and added social studies to their program.

“Elizabeth has more than 100 tutoring hours and that speaks volumes about her and her dedication,” Colvin said. “Lamar’s confidence level continues to rise and that is important in his school work and carries over into daily life.”

Woody said that Giddens is an excellent teacher and went the extra mile to bring understanding to his courses of study.

“She helped me, too, with my note taking skills and my organizational skills,” Woody said. “She encouraged me and gave me the confidence that I could do things.”

Woody’s aunt, Countess Carswell, said Giddens’ untiring efforts have made it possible for Woody to make a complete turnaround.

“He was behind in school when he came to live with me and he stayed behind until she began tutoring him,” Carswell said. “Now, he is making A’s and B’s. He knows he can achieve and he’s doing it. We have Ms. Giddens to thank. She went far above and beyond to help Lamar. We are so thankful for her.”

Giddens, an education major, said that tutoring was a learning experience for her and an experience that she will take with her when she goes into the classroom after graduation for Troy University on Friday.

“Working with Lamar helped me realize that not everything I try is going to work,” she said. “I’ve gained the confidence to try different approaches and experience in working individually with a student. I’ve learned so much through tutoring. I’m very thankful for the opportunity.”

Colvin said that, as a tutor, Giddens has made a difference in the life of one young student.

“There is no doubt that she will be an outstanding teacher and an effective mentor. She will positively impact many young lives over the years,” Colvin said. “It was an honor to recognize her as the Troy Public Library’s Tutor of the Year.”