Greg Boos

“It’s Boos, like the radio but without the e,” Greg Boos says about pronouncing his last name.

The kindergarten teacher is the teacher of the year at River Oaks Elementary School where he’s taught for four years.

With 16 years as an educator behind him, and about 11 of them in Georgia, Boos is originally from Michigan.

Married to Meredith Boos, a children’s picture book author, the couple has a 12-year-old daughter who’s in seventh grade.

They live, he said, “In that fuzzy area some people call Surfside Beach and other people call Myrtle Beach.”

Boos’ mother was a substitute teacher and between observing some of her classes and talking to friends, he decided fairly early that education was the career he wanted.

“It seemed like the right thing for me to do,” he said.

Kindergarten is the new first grade, he said, where the kids learn a great deal.

“Kindergarten is now what first grade was when I went to school,” Boos said, adding that the students learn to read letters and sounds. They learn how to write neatly and phonetically, and they learn social skills.

“It’s a cornucopia,” Boos said. “We do science and social studies and basically everything.

“The main goal is by the end of the year, they’ll be successful in first grade.”

That means mastering the alphabet, being able to identify numbers and shapes, and being able to do simple addition.

Boos said even as young as they are, the kindergarteners come to school with knowledge of computers and iPads.

“More often than not, the students already have those things, and it’s great to turn those things into not just an entertainment platform, but a learning platform.”

The 5 and 6-year-olds want to be ready to move on at the end of the year, Boos said.

“They feel like they’ve put this time in and now they want to learn more.”

His years in the profession have taught Boos that going into it “with an open heart and an open mind,” and with the understanding that it might not be exactly what was expected, will make teaching an amazing experience.

“You can teach the same concept for 15 years and never have the same day twice,” he said.

“It’s amazing how they change and mature and get that light in their eyes, and you can see they’re taking off. It’s amazing to see.”

Teacher of the year twice in Georgia, Boos said, “It’s a really powerful feeling to see your colleagues see the work and effort you put in. We’re all working ridiculously hard this year, and if I could give [teacher of the year] to every teacher in the district, I would.”

“There are so many things we’ve overcome and worked through to help the students.”

When the kindergarten teacher isn’t working, he enjoys movies and reading and collecting “Star Wars” memorabilia.

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