CAIRO MAYOR BOOKER GAINOR is one of the newest teachers at Washington Middle School.
When school bells ring open the 2019-2020 school year Friday, one of the new teachers standing at the head of the class will be Cairo Mayor Booker Gainor.
Hired at Washington Middle School, Gainor says he is excited to be teaching earth science to sixth graders. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime to get back in our school system . . . to help shape the young minds and leaders right here in Grady County,” says Gainor, 29.
A graduate of Grady County schools, Gainor walked the halls of WMS when he was in middle school.
“Some of the same teachers that taught me are still here. The seeds they planted in me that they didn’t even know they had done, I’m able to show that fruit and plant those same seeds that they planted in me in others,” Gainor says.
As a community leader, Gainor says he has experience working with youth, but knows teaching will be a new challenge. “I do a lot of youth coaching and speaking. But, teaching, to do it formally to me is an honor and a pleasure,” he says.
Gainor is a 2007 graduate of Cairo High School and 2012 graduate of Florida A&M University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. After college he worked several jobs including operating his own food stand. He eventually landed at CNS Cable where he worked for about three years. In 2017, he was hired as janitorial contract manager for the Thomas Grady Service Center.
Now, he is ready to invest in the students of Washington Middle School. “I appreciate the board of education, our superintendent and Mr. (Michael) Best (principal of WMS) for taking a chance on me. To the parents, as well. I look forward to a relationship with the students and to help sharpen their minds and to let the parents know I do have their child’s best interest in mind,” says the new teacher.
Gainor is one of a handful of new teachers teaching under a provision of the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP), which is a “classroom-based teacher preparation option for individuals who have the basic qualifications to teach early childhood, middle-grades, secondary or P-12 education but have not completed a teacher preparation program. The program is not intended to replace traditional teacher education programs.”