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Teacher of the Year finalists chosen

SUWANEE - Gwinnett County Public Schools announced Wednesday the names of the 20 semifinalists for the 2009-10 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year honor.

The group of 12 elementary, four middle and four high school teachers was selected from a field of 112 local school Teachers of the Year who were nominated by their colleagues at their local schools, according to a news release. The 2010 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year will be announced Nov. 5 at a banquet.

This year's semifinalists are:

· Alana O'Connell Stanton, first-grade teacher at Bethesda Elementary

· Joe Cox, Advanced Placement Physics B and Physics C teacher at Brookwood High

· Deborah Stringfellow, seventh-grade life science teacher at Crews Middle

· Chuck Lockert, engineering teacher at Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology

· Bridget Saldaña, early intervention program and transition teacher and instructional coach at Harbins Elementary

· Shann Griffith, physical education teacher at Head Elementary

· Karen E. Marks, fourth-grade science and mathematics teacher at Hopkins Elementary

· Derrielle Morris, mathematics teacher at Lawrenceville Elementary

· Lindsey Shannon, first-grade teacher at Meadowcreek Elementary

· Jennifer Rolfes, special education teacher at Mill Creek High

· Jonathan Day, fourth-grade teacher at Mulberry Elementary

· James Glenn, Advanced Placement World History and Human Geography teacher at Norcross High

· Kim Foster, sixth-grade language arts teacher at Osborne Middle

· Joe Frank Uriz, Spanish teacher at Parsons Elementary

· Julie Herron, first-grade teacher at Patrick Elementary

· Jessica Marshall, second-grade teacher at Puckett's Mill Elementary

· Karen Casanova, English to Speakers of Other Languages teacher at Radloff Middle

· Carmen Hail Smith, second-grade teacher at Sugar Hill Elementary

· Lisa Cohorst, seventh-grade social studies teacher at Trickum Middle

· Mark Landtroop, fourth-grade teacher at Winn Holt Elementary

A selection committee made up of teachers, central office personnel and administrators will now consider the semifinalists' applications and answers to a set of additional questions to determine six finalists.

Committee members will then make site visits to the classrooms of the six finalists and conduct thorough interviews with each educator. During the classroom visit, the committee members will look for original teaching methods, study the teacher's teaching philosophy and review any special class projects the teacher has initiated. They also will review each teacher's educational degrees and civic activities.

Based on their findings, committee members will select an elementary, middle and high school Teacher of the Year from the field of six finalists. One of the three "level winners" will be named Gwinnett's 2010 Teacher of the Year and will be eligible to compete for the state title.