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Teacher of the Year pool narrowed to 20

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County Public Schools on Tuesday announced the 20 Teacher of the Year semifinalists.

The semifinalists were chosen by a group of judges who read the application packets of the 105 teachers who were picked as the Teacher of the Year at their respective schools, said Lea Arnau, the director of professional learning.

The judges, who are former system-level finalists or school administrators, looked for applications that highlighted excellent teaching by demonstrating innovative teaching strategies, showing results in student learning and showing participation in professional learning, Arnau said.

These teachers are "models of excellence," and other educators can learn from them, Arnau said.

"Our teachers of the year exemplify the excellence of Gwinnett County Public Schools teachers," Arnau said. "They love children, they are innovative in their teaching strategies, they truly believe every child can learn, and they work diligently toward that effort."

This group of semifinalists will be narrowed to a group of six finalists, Arnau said. The finalists should be announced within a week.

A selection committee of teachers, administrators and central office personnel will visit the classrooms of the finalists in about two weeks and conduct interviews with the teachers, Arnau said.

From the finalists, the selection committee will pick a teacher of the year for the elementary, middle and high school levels, and one will be chosen as the 2007 systemwide winner.

Gwinnett County Public Schools on Tuesday announced the 20 teachers who are semifinalists for the Teacher of the Year award. Below, the teachers who are in the running for the annual award:

•Heather Cain, Shiloh Elementary School

•Loria Crews, Five Forks Middle School

•Deborah Cureton, Dr. M.H. Mason Jr. Elementary School

•Leslie Dean, Margaret Winn Holt Elementary School

•Tiffany English, Sugar Hill Elementary School

•Sheryl Ferguson, W.C. Britt Elementary School

•Dana Griffith, Berkmar Middle School

•Charles J. Kachmar, Grayson High School

•John LaMattina, R.L. Norton Elementary School

•Susan Bainbridge LaViola, Alton C. Crews Middle School

•Tricia Lewis, Walnut Grove Elementary School

•Jill Maddox, Alcova Elementary School

•Molly M. McAuliffe, Parkview High School

•Rae Lynn Richmond, Chattahoochee Elementary School

•Cindy Apley Rose, Shiloh Middle School

•Ellen Rossie, Lilburn Elementary School

•Ginger Skeggs, Bethesda Elementary School

•Sarah Skinner, Peachtree Ridge High School

•Jeannie Suender, Brookwood Elementary School

•Matthew M. Winking, Phoenix High School