GOOD NEWS: Three Gwinnett educators honored by colleagues

SUWANEE -- The Georgia School Counselors Association recently selected three Gwinnett educators as tops in their field, honoring the work they do every day at their schools. The organization named Robin Zorn of Mason Elementary as the 2012 Georgia Elementary Counselor of the Year, Tinisha Parker of Gwinnett County Online Campus as the 2012 Georgia Secondary Counselor of the Year, and Paul Johnson of Peachtree Ridge High as the 2012 Georgia Counseling Advocate of the Year.

In addition to being named Georgia's top counselor at the elementary level, Zorn also was named the overall Georgia Counselor of the Year. It's the first time the organization has selected an overall winner from among the level honorees.

Last month, a Gwinnett school principal was also honored at the national level by school counselors from across the country who celebrated her support of counselors and the school counseling profession.

Dorothy Parker-Jarrett, principal of Summerour Middle, was recognized by the American School Counselors Association as the National Counseling Advocate of the Year.

Zorn, Parker and Johnson earned Georgia's top counseling honors after being named school system level and Region 2 level winners earlier in the year.

The Georgia School Counselors Association will officially present them with their awards during the Georgia School Counselor Association Annual State Conference in Athens from Nov. 7-9.

Funk selected as economics teacher of year

SUWANEE -- The Gwinnett County Board of Education recently honored a social studies teacher for her work in the classroom which earned her state recognition.

The Georgia Council on Economic Education selected Elfi Funk, a social studies teacher at Peachtree Ridge High, as the Georgia Economics Teacher of the Year.

Annually, the Georgia Council on Economic Education honors a Georgia educator for not only their content knowledge, but also for how they teach economics--their creativity, enthusiasm, and the variety of methods and resources used.

Funk was born and raised in Germany and began her academic career in her native country. She joined Gwinnett County Public Schools and Peachtree Ridge High when she relocated to Georgia from Florida at the start of the 2005-2006 school year. She teaches Advanced Placement classes including macroeconomics and college-prep, honors, and gifted Economics and Political Systems.

Funk attended the College of Education in Dresden, Saxony, where she received both a bachelor's degree and a doctoral degree in History.

It's not the first time Funk has earned honors. During her seven years as a Gwinnett teacher, she has received an award from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in recognition of her lesson plan contribution, and she was named the 2010 Teacher of the Year for Peachtree Ridge High.

The Gwinnett Board of Education, along with CEO/Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks, honored Funk at the June School Board meeting. Peachtree Ridge High's principal Kevin Tashlein as well as GCPS' director of social studies Debbie Daniell were both present during her recognition.

Frank Reddy writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.