Position

County Extension Coordinator

Education     

M.Ed., Instructional Technology, Georgia Southern University

B.S., Child and Family Development, Georgia Southern University

Clubs/organizations/professional memberships

Georgia Extension Association of Family Consumer Sciences (GEAFCS)

Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents (GAE4-HA)

Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP)

Personal

My hometown is Vidalia. My husband, Glynn, and I have been married for 21 years. We have two children: daughter Macy Elizabeth Stewart and son Dawson Tyler Stewart.

How long have you been working with Extension ?

I have been working for 15 years. I started my Extension career in Treutlen County as an Extension Program Specialist with the Family Nutrition Program in 2001. It was a grant-funded program. In 2002, I transferred to Tattnall County as the 4-H Agent. In 2013, I had the opportunity to go back to my roots when I became the Tattnall County Family and Consumer Science County Extension Agent. This was a new program for Tattnall. I also became County Extension Coordinator.

What originally attracted you to Extension work and what would you say is the best part of the job?

I always knew I wanted to be in the education career field but wasn’t really sure in what way. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children and people in general. At the end of the day, I wanted my work to mean something and have a lasting impact. After completing some of my field experience in the classroom, I knew I didn’t want to teach from the classroom.  My senior year at GSU, I met Laurie Cantrell, Southeast District Program Development Coordinator for Family and Consumer Sciences in 2000.  She was a guest speaker in one of my classes. When she started talking about Extension work, a light bulb went off in my head. I knew I needed to talk with her, so I met with her after class.  After that day, there was no doubt what I was meant to do in life. I knew exactly where I was supposed to be. I worked with Laurie to set up an Internship with Treutlen County Extension under the direction of Carol Crowe, FACS Agent. I was offered my first job with Extension within the first four weeks of my internship.    

Can you tell us about any role models or inspirations you might have?

The most influential people in my life were my parents. They taught me to work hard, be honest and always go for my dreams. I was the first in my family to earn a college degree. My father was so proud of me. I remember the day of my graduation.  He was very sick but he meant he was going to my graduation and he did. I could see his smile through the crowd. My father worked very hard to provide us with every opportunity to succeed in life. He taught me early on that determination is what makes the difference between people. Growing up with such wonderful parents, one phrase was always evident, “Giving up or quitting isn’t an option.”

Any favorite books or movies?

Steel Magnolias

What has been your proudest moment as an Extension agent?

My proudest moment as an Extension agent was the afternoon after returning from District Project Achievement with fifth and sixth grade 4-H students. I had a little boy who I worked with in a food lab project.  He had some learning disabilities and the whole process of the competition was challenging for him but he wouldn’t give up.  We worked in the food lab on techniques and his understanding of nutrition facts for the competition.  He brought home a third-place win that day. I was very proud of him.  For any other student, third place would not have been a big deal but for this child it was a special day. As his mother’s eyes filled with tears, she explained that this was the first award he had ever won. This moved mountains for me because it wasn’t about what place (first, second or third), it was a huge win for this child. This was the first day of many accomplishments that he proved to the world that he could succeed and I was able to help make it possible. That is why I am an Extension agent!

What are some of your hobbies or favorite activities outside of work?

My family! We ride bikes, kayak, watch movies and play sports together. The ballpark is where we spend most of our time. We love being outside. My favorite day is watching my kids play ball and having the family together. It makes everything worthwhile!

If you weren’t an Extension agent, what other line of work do you think you would have pursued?

I would have pursued a career as a nurse.

Tags: tattnall, rachel stewart, featured agent, extension