College of Coastal Georgia Student Recognized by University System for Academic Achievement

May 23, 2023
By: Tiffany King

College of Coastal Georgia graduate Beau Teston was recognized as the College’s 2023 Academic Recognition Day Honoree by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG).

Every year, the USG honors 26 students—one from each institution—who best represents the system’s highest scholastic ideals. Each institution selected a student with a 4.0 GPA that best reflects these qualities, and honorees were recognized by the USG in April during a special ceremony in Atlanta. Students were selected because of their outstanding academic achievement and ability to share knowledge in different areas of expertise.

Teston was shocked to learn that he had been selected as the College’s representative for Academic Recognition Day. He thought College President Dr. Michelle Johnston had contacted the wrong person.

“When talking to Dr. Johnston, it didn’t register with me how important this recognition was—one of the 26 out of the 340,000 plus students in the University System of Georgia receiving this recognition. I’m honored that I was selected for this award,” he said.

Dr. Amy Sneed, chair of the Department of Education and Teacher Preparation, shared glowing remarks about Teston in her recommendation for the honor.

“He truly reflects the ideals of our institution in our courses, the school and the Pierce County community,” Sneed wrote. “Beau has a big passion for working with children with special needs. He excels at taking initiative, being an engaged learner, and continually seeking out feedback and ways to ensure that his students reach high levels of learning in the classroom. Feedback from his college supervisors and mentor teachers has been outstanding, and he has demonstrated advanced levels of teaching proficiency as an early-career educator in many domains of practice.”

Many years ago, Teston had the goal of becoming a special education teacher at Pierce County Middle School (PCMS), where he found his passion for teaching. His dream has come true. Teston graduated this May with a Bachelor of Science in early childhood education and special education, and he has already begun his teaching career at PCMS. Teston finished the school-year as a long-term substitute for sixth grade at PCMS, and in August, he will join the Student Services Department there as a special education teacher. Throughout his childhood, Teston always considered being a teacher or UPS driver. During his junior and senior years in high school, Teston participated in a work-based learning program. The program allows students to leave school early and contribute to the workforce.

“My job was at Pierce County Middle School both years, where I mainly worked in the office,” Teston said. “Every day I would have the opportunity to visit classrooms while delivering packages or having teachers sign documents, but there were a few classrooms that I thoroughly enjoyed visiting. In these classrooms, I found my passion for teaching and helping students with disabilities.”

While at the College, Teston was a member of the Association of Coastal Educators (ACE), which encourages community participation through various volunteering opportunities. He also conducted various research projects. One of his most memorable research projects involved working in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Georgia. Teston and the other teacher candidates engaged with six third grade students in an integrated literacy and science/engineering project involving a deep study of the word “perseverance” and building an electrical, parallel circuit. The project was called “Literacy and Lights.”

“The students thoroughly enjoyed their time working with us, as this experience provided many lessons for the students and us as teacher candidates,” he said. “Through the research data, we were able to draw conclusions regarding what instructional strategies worked in this environment with our students.”

Teston thanked the entire faculty and staff at the College, especially those of the Teacher Education and Preparation Department, saying that they consistently poured into his education over the last two years.

Academic Recognition Day honorees each received a USG Academic Recognition Day resolution and a letter of commendation from USG Chancellor Sonny Perdue. Teston was also acknowledged as an honoree at the College’s annual Honors Day ceremony in April.

For more information, contact Tiffany King at

Photo cutline:

College of Coastal Georgia President Michelle Johnston (right) congratulates Beau Teston (left) at the College’s annual Honors Day ceremony for being recognized by the University System of Georgia as a 2023 Academic Recognition Day Honoree.


Founded in 1961 in the Golden Isles region, the College of Coastal Georgia educates students to become leaders in their chosen professions and in their communities. A member of the University System of Georgia, Coastal Georgia offers associates and bachelor’s degree programs in a variety of disciplines. The school has been nationally and regionally recognized for its academic programs, its athletic teams, and its affordability.