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Finalists named for county's top teacher

LAWRENCEVILLE - Six Gwinnett County teachers remain in the running for the Teacher of the Year award.

Tiffany English of Sugar Hill Elementary, Cindy Apley Rose of Shiloh Middle, Dana Griffith of Berkmar Middle, Charles J. Kachmar of Grayson High's Technical Education Program, Sarah Skinner of Peachtree Ridge High and Matthew M. Winking of Phoenix High have been chosen as the county finalists, said Jorge Quintana, a Gwinnett County Public Schools spokesman.

The Teacher of the Year will receive an annual award of $1,000 and will represent the county in the state competition, Quintana said.

Three of the finalists will be chosen as the elementary, middle and high school teachers of the year, and the county winner will be chosen from those three, Quintana said. The other level winners will receive an annual award of $750.

The three who do not win will receive a one-time $500 award, Quintana said.

English, who teaches music in first through fifth grades, is the only elementary school finalist and is the winner for her level. English has worked for the Gwinnett district for 12 years at W.C. Britt Elementary, Rock Springs Elementary and Sugar Hill Elementary.

Rose is an eighth-grade algebra teacher who has taught at Shiloh Middle since 1997. She has worked with the state Department of Education to align state and national math assessments.

Griffith has taught physical education at Berkmar Middle since 2004. She started teaching in Gwinnett in 1993, and she also teaches at Georgia Perimeter College. Griffith participated in the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program in 1998-99, which allowed her to teach in Finland.

Kachmar teaches mechanical drafting, architectural drafting and engineering at Grayson High. He has taught in Gwinnett for six years, and he is pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Georgia.

Skinner is a 12th grade and Advanced Placement language arts teacher at Peachtree Ridge, where she also chairs the language arts department. She is nationally certified and is working on a doctoral degree in language and literacy education from the University of Georgia.

Winking teaches 10th through 12th grade mathematics at Phoenix High. He manages the school's Web site, and he has been involved with curriculum development for the school system's proposed advanced math, science and technology high school.

The Teacher of the Year will be announced during a banquet Nov. 2.