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GCPS announces Teacher of the Year semifinalists

Twenty six semifinalists of the Gwinnett County Public Schools Teacher of the Year award gather for a group picture. A committee will narrow the field to six before a winner is chosen in November. (Special Photo)

Twenty six semifinalists of the Gwinnett County Public Schools Teacher of the Year award gather for a group picture. A committee will narrow the field to six before a winner is chosen in November. (Special Photo)

SUWANEE — Twenty-six teachers remain in the running to find the top educator this school year in Gwinnett County Public Schools.

The district on Monday announced 26 semifinalists, narrowed from an original group of 130 teachers, nominated by their colleagues at their local schools, to be considered for the system’s top honor. The teachers come from 15 elementary schools, six middle schools and five high schools.

The 2014 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year will be announced in November after finalists are named in less than a month. A committee of teachers, administrators and central office personnel will narrow the field to six finalists.

The committee will visit the finalists in their classroom and conduct interviews with them.

Members of the committee will look for original teaching methods, study the teacher’s teaching philosohpy, review special class projects the teacher has initiated, and consider the influence the teacher has had on the teaching practices of their colleagues. They also will review each teacher’s educational degrees and civic activities, district spokesman Jorge Quintana said.

Winners at each level — elementary, middle and high — will also be announced at the banquet on Nov. 7 at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth.

This year’s Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year semifinalists:

Marcus Sowcik of Annistown Elementary—Special Education - Autism (Grades K-2)

Karon M. Stocks of Benefield Elementary—Literacy Coach (Grades K-5)

Louvene Williams of Chattahoochee Elementary—5th Grade

Shannon Wiley of Harbins Elementary—1st Grade

Desireé Hempen of Harmony Elementary—2nd Grade

Susie Bullock of Head Elementary—Kindergarten

Jessica Newsome of Jenkins Elementary—Instructional Coach (Grade 1)

Stacy Greenstein Lord of Lawrenceville Elementary—Instructional Coach (Grade 2)

Margaret LaHatte of McKendree Elementary—1st Grade

Rachael Renje of Monarch School—Special Education (Pre-K)

Heather Watkins of Mulberry Elementary—1st Grade

Amy E. Riker of Puckett’s Mill Elementary—4th Grade

John C. O’Keefe of Riverside Elementary—4th Grade

Stacey Dunlap of Simpson Elementary—Media Specialist

Carrie Doker of Sugar Hill Elementary—4th Grade

Lissette McRea of Berkmar Middle—Language Arts Teacher (Grade 6)

Carla Sebastian Kuny of Five Forks Middle—Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 6)

Joan McElroy of Lanier Middle—Literacy Coach (Grades 6-8)

Jan Chastain of Osborne Middle—Science (Grade 6)

Carol Williams of Summerour Middle—Mathematics (Grade 6)

Nathaniel Amrine of Twin Rivers Middle—Mathematics (Grade 8)

Ashley Allgood of Brookwood High—Latin (Grades 9-12)

Hyunjin Son of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology—Engineering (Grade 9)

Marietta Malone of Meadowcreek High—AP and Gifted Language Arts (Grade 12)

Tim Rondeau of Mill Creek High—Mathematics (Grades 9-12)

Lisa York of Peachtree Ridge High—Language Arts (Grade 11)