6 Gwinnett teachers named finalists for school district's top honor

LAWRENCEVILLE - Six Gwinnett County Public Schools teachers have been selected as finalists for the district's top honor, district officials announced Friday.

The teachers in the running for the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year title are Joe Cox of Brookwood High; James Glenn of Norcross High; Mark Landtroop of Winn Holt Elementary; Chuck Lockert of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology; Jennifer Rolfes of Mill Creek High and Deborah Stringfellow of Crews Middle.

As the final element of the judging process, the selection committee made up of teachers, administrators, and central office staff will observe the six teachers in their classrooms. During the visit, the committee will look for original teaching methods, how the teachers demonstrate their philosophy of teaching and special class projects. Committee members also will conduct interviews with the finalists.

Cox, who teaches Advanced Placement Physics B and AP Physics C classes at Brookwood High, began his career in education in 1997 at Meadowcreek High, where he taught biology, chemistry, physics and AP Physics B. He started teaching at Brookwood in 2005.

Cox, who has a specialist's degree from Georgia State University, also serves the district as a summer instructor at Phoenix High.

Glenn teaches world history, world geography, U.S. history, philosophy, law, AP Human Geography and AP World History at Norcross. He began his career in education in 1999 in Gwinnett County.

Glenn has a specialist's degree in curriculum and instruction from Piedmont College.

Landtroop, a fourth-grade teacher at Winn Holt Elementary, started teaching in 2000 at Kanoheda Elementary. Five years later, he joined the faculty at his current school.

He has a master's degree from Piedmont College.

Lockert helped open Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology in 2007, where he teaches Grade Engineering Applications, Robotics and Mechatronics and 3D Modeling and Analysis. He joined the school district in 2004 as a chemistry teacher at Shiloh High. He later taught at Parkview High.

Lockert has a doctorate from Florida Institute of Technology in ocean engineering.

Rolfes, a graduate of Parkview, began her career in education in 2004 as a special-education teacher at Grayson High. In 2007, she moved to Mill Creek High, where she teaches special education.

She has a master's degree from the University of Georgia.

Stringfellow came to Gwinnett in 2003, teaching seventh-grade science at Crews Middle after 17 years of teaching elementary school children.

She has a specialist's degree from Lincoln Memorial University in education administration and leadership.

Three of these six finalists will be designated as the Elementary, Middle and High School Teachers of the Year. As the only finalists at the elementary and middle school levels, Landtroop and Stringfellow automatically become the winners at those two levels. The High School Teacher of the Year will be named from the remaining four finalists.

The county winner will then be selected from among the three level winners and will go on to represent the county in the Georgia TOTY competition.

The winner will be named Nov. 5 during a banquet honoring each school's Teacher of the Year.