NHS’ Dr. Joe Child: Educator, Coach and Beyond

By: Hannah Johnson

Dr. Joe Child has been a teacher at Newnan High School since 1997. Although, he did not begin his journey with Newnan when he first became a teacher. Dr. Child joined NHS later in his career and brought the wealth of his experience with him.

Dr. Child graduated from NHS in 1963. His whole class consisted of 127 students.
After graduating from Newnan he attended Auburn University. He graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Dr. Joe Child began his post college career working for and with the largest companies in the United States. Dr. Child stated, “I traveled all the time, I never stopped working. I just thought that the purpose of working was to make money and be successful.”

Thirty years later, Dr. Child left his career as a corporate executive to become a teacher.
His wife originally suggested the idea to become a teacher. He did not understand why he would quit his large, fast paced job in a large company to enter the classroom.

One day, however, Dr. Child realized all of the things that a teacher does beyond just standing in a room with students. He stopped working for money and began to look at working as a way to make a difference in the lives of others.

In 1997, he earned a Masters in Education from the University of West Georgia. Little did he know, this was not the end of his education, so what could have seemed final ended up being just the beginning of two more advanced degrees.

In 2006 he graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama with a Specialist in Education and again in 2009 with a Doctorate in Education.
He now works with high school students and loves what he does. He works as a Special Education Collaborative Classroom Teacher. He has taught in almost all of the required academic content areas.

Over the past year he has had the privilege to teach with over fifty of Newnan High School’s teachers.

In addition to his role in the classroom at NHS, Dr. Child has been one of the golf coaches for fifteen years. He was a head coach for many of these fifteen years, but at one point in time it was questionable whether he’d ever be able to step back on a golf course ever again.

He had a total knee replacement five years ago and was told by doctors that he would never be able to play golf again.

Soon after though in a marvelous manner, the doctors cleared him to play the sport again. After this Dr.Child became an Assistant Coach with then coach, Mr. Bryant.

Extending his work helping young adults become successful and stronger adults, Dr. Child found special meaning in seeing his golfers grow not only in their golf game but as people as well.

He commented, “What I like most though about coaching is it gives you the opportunity to work with student athletes, boys/girls, and help them with the sport they like, which is golf.” He continued to say, “Just being able to see how an athlete changes over the course of their high school career is a real excitement.”

Being able to do something that he now loves is a wonderful thing, and over the year, NHS has become a part of his family.

Dr. Child noted how each day is different and the work is challenging, but “The students are great. Young people are our future, so if I change one person’s life, then I am happy.”
Mrs. Kight, NHS math teacher who taught Math 2 with Dr. Child, stated, “Dr. Child is the most relaxed person I think I’ve ever met. He never lost his cool.”