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A Taste of Tattnall: Jessica Dutton
Jessica Dutton seated in her classroom at STES.
Jessica Dutton seated in her classroom at STES.

Jessica Dutton is one of the many teachers adjusting to the new school of South Tattnall Elementary School (STES) in Glennville, fronting Love’s Chapel Road.

“We all knew there would be changes as we settled into our new facility, but it is spacious, modern in every way, and full of security/safety measures for our students and staff.  We are also blessed with a superb principal, Dr. Kristi Kaiser,” Jessica said.

Jessica is in her 17th year of teaching, and 15 of 17 of those years have been as a first grade teacher. Jessica comments that she simply loves the children and interacting with these young, eager minds on a daily basis.

However, Jessica’s first degree was in Therapeutic Recreation, and she worked for three years at Charter by the Sea on St. Simons Island before returning back to Tattnall County and earning her Master’s degree in Education.

Jessica is a devoted mother and loves being a mother to the couple’s two daughters, Sophia and Hallie.

“I am very particular, and only my parents and the parents of Bryan, my husband, keep the girls when we have to be away from them,” Jessica said. ”We have only left them for three days, at the most, when Bryan and I attended the U.S. Open Tennis matches in New York.”

Sophia, an eighth grader at South Tattnall Middle School (STMS), is cheerleading captain of the squad and is also on the school’s tennis team. Hallie, a sixth grader at STMS, is on the cheerleading team and hopes to play tennis this fall, too, for STMS.  The two girls often play tennis with each other and enjoy the sport.  Both Jessica and Bryan seldom miss any of their daughters’ games or activities.

Bryan Dutton, Jessica’s husband, is employed in sales at Adams Poultry and Hardware in Glennville, but also tends to the couple’s three chicken houses.

Jessica is close to her family, parents Wayne and Betty Jean Easterling, who are retired from farming but very active in helping with all the grandchildren and their many activities, and siblings April, Joe Frank, and John Wayne.

April is a kindergarten teacher at STES, and her husband, Stacy Adams, owns Adams Poultry and Hardware.  Their sons are Cash, an eleventh grader at Tattnall County High School (TCHS); Case, a sixth grader at STMS; and Cage, in pre-kindergarten at STES.

Joe Frank and his wife, Ariel, live in Glennville, too, with their children, John Ross, in kindergarten at STES; and Joesi, one year old.  Ariel is a dental hygienist at Glennville Family Dentistry, and Joe Frank works as an electrical contractor with his brother, John Wayne, in addition to farming on the side.

John Wayne and his wife, Margo, a second grade teacher at STES, live in Glennville.

Bryan’s family is a busy one, too. His parents are Dale and Debbie Dutton.  Dale is retired both as a longtime administrator of Glenvue Health & Rehabilitation and as Tattnall County Tax Commissioner.  Debbie is a retired teacher, but the two stay busy attending grandchildren’s athletic games and other activities. 

Bryan’s siblings include Jonathan, Matt, and Drew.

Jonathan and his wife, Lori, have three children. Jonathan is Vice President of South Georgia Bank in Claxton, and Lori is a special education teacher at STES. Their oldest child, Anna Kate, is a freshman at the University of Georgia (UGA), Pearce is in the eleventh grade at Pinewood Christian Academy (PCA), and Dalex is in the second grade at STES.

Matt and his wife, Alisha Dutton, live in the Mendes area with their three children: twins Hadley and Harrison in kindergarten at PCA, and Hayes, who is not in school yet.  Matt is an engineer at Plant Hatch in Baxley, and Alisha works at Busy Little Beavers Christian PreSchool.

Drew is single and just moved back to Glennville; he is a telecommunications engineer with Planters Telephone, headquartered in Newington, Georgia.

“One of our favorite family trips is skiing in West Virginia, which we have done for several years. Several families go together, such as April’s family, which makes it more fun.  We usually make the trek there during our school break in February for five or six days,” Jessica said.

They also like the beach, visiting Amelia Island or Jekyll Island during the summer months.

“My home church is Beards Creek Primitive Baptist Church, but we regularly attend Gospel Baptist Church.  The girls attend the summer camps offered by Beards Creek and enjoy them,” Jessica said.

“I have always liked to cook, and my girls join in helping me in the kitchen now. One of my most treasured gifts is a cookbook that my mother gave to me several years ago for Christmas.  It has the family’s favorite recipes along with elementary school notes and cards that my siblings and I had written to her as well as photos of all of us as children.  She made a separate book for each of us children, so it is personalized just for us. I can honestly say that this is one of the most cherished gifts that I have ever received, and my siblings feel the same way.  Our family picture when we were children with our parents is placed on the front of the cookbook, and every page of recipes and our artwork is in a clear plastic sheet. I can’t imagine how much time my mom spent on this for each of us,” she said, and many of these are recipes from her Grandma Willene Rogers.

Jessica plans to continue teaching as her career, and added that the first graders and their early innocence are inspiring to her as a teacher and her ability to affect them positively.

Jessica Dutton’s Recipes


3 large chicken breasts (cooked and shredded by hand)

2 cups crushed saltines

1/2 cup Blue Plate mayonnaise

1 cup chicken broth (use broth from cooked chicken)

2 stalks chopped celery

2 cans Cream of Chicken soup

Mix all ingredients together.  Bake at 350 degrees F. until bubbly and brown.  NOTE:  you may need to add more chicken broth.


1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. flour

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup milk

1 container crab meat

1/2 cup grated cheese

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

1 pound shrimp (peeled, deveined, and cut in half)

1 deep dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Combine the mayonnaise, flour, eggs, and milk.  Mix well. Stir in crab, shrimp, cheese, and onion. Pour into the pie crust and bake for 45 minutes.


3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

2 cups milk

3 egg yolks

2 Tbsp. butter

1 cup flaked coconut

1 baked 9-inch pie shell

1 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar

toasted coconut for garnish

Combine first three ingredients in heavy sauce pan; gradually stir in milk.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly.  Cook 1 minute.  Beat egg yolks, gradually stir about 1/4 of hot mixture into yolks; add to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Stir in butter and 1 cup of coconut.  Pour into pie shell.  Cover and chill 1 to 2 hours.  Beat whipping cream at high speed until foamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Spoon whipped cream onto pie and garnish with toasted coconut.