GCPS announces local teachers of the year

Gwinnett County Public Schools announced 137 local teachers of the year on Monday. (File Photo)

Gwinnett County Public Schools unveiled the district’s top teachers for the 2018-19 school year Monday.

A total of 137 local educators were named teacher of the year for their respective schools. The announcement is the first step in the district’s search for its 2018-19 Gwinnett County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. Teachers were nominated and voted upon by colleagues at their school.

“GCPS teachers of the year represent the quality of professional educators across our district and in every school,” Jonathan Patterson, GCPS associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction support, said. “These teachers exemplify our mission to pursue excellence in academic knowledge, skills, and behavior for each student. Their expertise and reputation reflect the expectations of the Gwinnett community. We also congratulate their principals and other staff who work side by side with these teachers every day to ensure a high-quality public education.”

The 137 local school honorees will be narrowed down to 25 semifinalists in late September. From that group, six finalists will be chosen in mid-October. The annual Teacher of the Year banquet and the announcement of this year’s top teacher in Gwinnett County will be held on Nov. 8.

The teacher of the year is determined by a selection committee made up of teachers, central office personnel, and administrators. Committee members will visit the classrooms of the six finalists and conduct interviews with each educator. The criteria the committee uses includes original teaching methods, educator’s teaching philosophy, influence the teacher has had on the teaching practices of his/her colleagues and any special class projects the teacher has initiated.

The 2018-19 local Teachers of the Year list includes:

• Alcova Elementary School, Rebekah Yoder, Local School Technology Coordinator and Technology Specials Teacher (Grade 5)

• Alford Elementary School, Ashley Stanton, Special Education Teacher – Mild Intellectual Disabilities – Self-Contained (Grades 2–5)

• Anderson-Livsey Elementary School, Ashley Joseph, English to Speakers of Other Languages and Early Intervention Program Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Annistown Elementary School, Deborah Sears, Language Arts Teacher (Grade 3)

• Arcado Elementary School, Dr. Janie Avant, Special Education Teacher – Orthopedic Impairments (Grades K–5)

• Archer High School, Kim Dyer, AP Language Arts Teacher (Grade 11)

• Baggett Elementary School, Falicia O’Mard, 1st Grade Teacher

• Baldwin Elementary School, Mallory Fannin, Language Arts, Writing, and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 5)

• Bay Creek Middle School, Theresa Palmer, Language Arts Teacher (Grade 8)

• Beaver Ridge Elementary School, Rose Beyea, 5th Grade Teacher

• Benefield Elementary School, Vanessa Zebrowski, Art Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Berkeley Lake Elementary School, Dawn Frazer, 1st Grade Teacher

• Berkmar High School, Jessica Layana-Mugan, English to Speakers of Other Languages Teacher – Level 1 Literature, Language, and Communication Skills (Grades 9–11)

• Berkmar Middle School, Tracey Runcie-Williams, Special Education Teacher – Interrelated Resource (Grade 8)

• Bethesda Elementary School, Brynne Lee, Dual Language Immersion Teacher – Mathematics, Science, and Language Literacy – Spanish (Grade 3)

• Britt Elementary School, Denise Brown, 5th Grade Teacher

• Brookwood Elementary School, Lori Bonn, Mathematics Specials Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Brookwood High School, Stephen Beall, Physics, Energy and Power Technology, and Appropriate and Alternative Energy Teacher (Grades 9, 11, and 12)

• Burnette Elementary School, Sandi Star, Gifted Education and Advanced Content Teacher – Reading and Mathematics (Grades 1–3)

• Camp Creek Elementary School, Jennie Packard, 3rd Grade Teacher

• Cedar Hill Elementary School, Dr. Aisha Joi House, 5th Grade Teacher

• Centerville Elementary School, La’Keshia Y. Kafunda, 2nd Grade Teacher

• Central Gwinnett High School, Dr. Vivian S. Daniel, Biology Teacher (Grades 9–12)

• Chattahoochee Elementary School, Cheryl B. Fletcher, 2nd Grade Teacher

• Chesney Elementary School, Micheal S. Barron, 5th Grade Teacher

• Coleman Middle School, Chandra Harmond Brandel, Mathematics Teacher (Grade 6)

• Collins Hill High School, Donna Ahlswede, Chemistry Teacher (Grade 10)

• Cooper Elementary School, Mary Spears, 3rd Grade Teacher

• Corley Elementary School, Kathy Newman, Mathematics Teacher (Grade 4)

• Couch Middle School, Lindsey Saa, Social Studies Teacher (Grade 8)

• Craig Elementary School, Allyson Clark, Special Education Teacher – Early Childhood Program (Pre-K)

• Creekland Middle School, Linda Littlejohn, STEM Connections Teacher (Grades 6–8)

• Crews Middle School, Debbie Avis, Social Studies Teacher (Grade 6)

• Dacula Elementary School, Laura Larson, Special Education Teacher – Autism Spectrum Disorder (Pre-K)

• Dacula High School, James E. Williams III, Choral Music Teacher (Grades 9–12)

• Dacula Middle School, Derek Tuthill, Social Studies Teacher (Grade 8)

• Discovery High School, Danielle Malcom, Biology and AP Biology Teacher (Grades 9–12)

• Duluth High School, Jordan T. White, AP Human Geography and World Geography Teacher (Grade 9)

• Duluth Middle School, Melissa Dorsey, Language Arts Teacher (Grade 7)

• Duncan Creek Elementary School, Jamie Frix Cofer, Kindergarten Teacher

• Dyer Elementary School, Kathryn Montelin, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 5)

• Ferguson Elementary School, Ashley Booker, Kindergarten Teacher

• Five Forks Middle School, Keith Oldknow, Mathematics Teacher (Grade 8)

• Fort Daniel Elementary School, Claire Durbin, Special Education Teacher – Significant Developmental Delay (Kindergarten)

• Freeman’s Mill Elementary School, Julie Massey, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 4)

• GIVE Center East, Vernita M. Moore, Special Education Teacher – Interrelated Resource (Grades 9–12)

• GIVE Center West, Chris Magne, Geometry and Algebra II Teacher (Grades 9–12)

• Grace Snell Middle School, Evan Korth, Mathematics Teacher (Grade 8)

• Graves Elementary School, Sarah Hoeflin, Drama Discoveries and Specials Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Grayson Elementary School, Janice Rials, 2nd Grade Teacher

• Grayson High School, Stacy Kenyon, Social Studies and Psychology Teacher (Grades 11 and 12)

• Gwin Oaks Elementary School, Sandra Bratescu, Special Education Teacher – Severe and Profound Intellectual Disabilities (Pre-K)

• Gwinnett Online Campus, Sandy Frierson, Spanish Teacher (Grades 9–12)

• Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Collyn Milsted, Honors and Gifted Language Arts Teacher (Grade 10)

• Harbins Elementary School, Cheryl Hall, Kindergarten Teacher

• Harmony Elementary School, Courtney Benton, 5th Grade Teacher

• Harris Elementary School, Inna Arroyo, Kindergarten Teacher

• Head Elementary School, Terri Odum, Kindergarten Teacher

• Hopkins Elementary School, Kimberly Robinson, 1st Grade Teacher

• Hull Middle School, Shuanita S. Cochran, Social Studies Teacher (Grade 7)

• Ivy Creek Elementary School, Sara Tyrrell, Dual Language Immersion Teacher – Language Arts and Social Studies – English (Grade 1)

• Jackson Elementary School, Julie Bell, 3rd Grade Teacher

• Jenkins Elementary School, Chris Fendley, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 1)

• Jones Middle School, Kanika Battle, Mathematics and Accelerated Mathematics Teacher (Grade 7)

• Jordan Middle School, Sandra Chedwick, Language Arts Teacher (Grade 8)

• Kanoheda Elementary School, Elizabeth Lyons, 4th Grade Teacher

• Knight Elementary School, Heather K. Cox, English to Speakers of Other Languages Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Lanier High School, Christy Battle, AP and Honors Biology and Forensic Science Teacher (Grades 10 and 12)

• Lanier Middle School, Holly Hall, Accelerated Science and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 6)

• Lawrenceville Elementary School, Aishah Cochran, 1st Grade Teacher

• Level Creek Elementary School, Shaila Khaki, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 5)

•Lilburn Elementary School, Taresa Choe Lee, 5th Grade Teacher

•Lilburn Middle School, Tia Milhouse, Language Arts Teacher (Grade 7)

• Lovin Elementary School, Nyemadé Baker-Marsh, Special Education Teacher – Autism Spectrum Disorder – Early Childhood Program (Pre-K)

•Magill Elementary School, Sheresa Kendricks, 4th Grade Teacher

• Mason Elementary School, Katie Vosburgh, 2nd Grade Teacher

• Maxwell High School of Technology, Jennifer Mundy, Early Childhood Education Teacher (Grades 10–12)

• McConnell Middle School, Holly Hahn, Introduction to Algebra Teacher (Grade 8)

• McKendree Elementary School, Kaitlin Tewksbury, 5th Grade Teacher

• Meadowcreek Elementary School, Lasandra Cobb, Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 4)

• Meadowcreek High School, Twania A. White, Language Arts Teacher (Grade 10)

• Mill Creek High School, Sabrina Hancock, AP Statistics and AP Research Teacher (Grades 9–12)

• Minor Elementary School, Joyce Munzwandi, Kindergarten Teacher

• Moore Middle School, Dr. Donna M. Domenech, Engineering and Technology Teacher (Grades 6–8)

• Mountain Park Elementary School, Katie MacDonald, Writing, Mathematics, and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 5)

• Mountain View High School, Darryl Colley II, Engineering Teacher (Grades 9–12)

• Mulberry Elementary School, Hannah Randall, Art Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Nesbit Elementary School, Jasmine Lundy, Kindergarten Teacher

• Norcross Elementary School, Bobbie Adamczyk, Art Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Norcross High School, Darrell Cicchetti, Language Arts Teacher (Grade 9)

• North Gwinnett High School, Erin Mitchell, AP Psychology Teacher (Grades 10–12)

• North Gwinnett Middle School, Katie Noordhoorn, Mathematics Teacher (Grade 7)

• Northbrook Center, Elin Tomov, Language Arts Teacher (Grades 6–8)

• Northbrook Middle School, Dr. Dana Griffith, Health and PE Teacher (Grades 6–8)

• Norton Elementary School, Michele E. Jones, Special Education Teacher – Interrelated Resource (Grades K–5)

• Oakland Meadow School, Brittany Stanley, Itinerant Special Education Teacher – Vision (Grades PreK–12+)

• Osborne Middle School, Tammy Martz, Social Studies Teacher (Grade 6)

• Parkview High School, Heidi Campbell, Language Arts, Newspaper, and Literary Magazine Teacher (Grades 9–12)

• Parsons Elementary School, Ashley Bailey, 2nd Grade Teacher

• Partee Elementary School, Aquanda Barber, Special Education Teacher – Interrelated Resource (Grade 5)

• Patrick Elementary School, Jennifer Burel, 2nd Grade Teacher

• Paul Duke STEM High School, Lauren O’Connor, Marketing and Journalism Teacher (Grades 9–11)

• Peachtree Elementary School, Amanda A. Eady, 3rd Grade Teacher

• Peachtree Ridge High School, Meredith White, Spanish Teacher (Grades 9–12)

• Pharr Elementary School, Ashley Dunlop, Special Education Teacher – Severe and Profound Intellectual Disabilities (Pre-K)

• Phoenix High School, Cheryl D. Deas, Work-Based Learning Teacher (Grades 9–12)

• Pinckneyville Middle School, Charlene R. Jackson, Mathematics Teacher (Grade 7)

• Puckett’s Mill Elementary School, Sarah Hunnicutt, Kindergarten Teacher

• Radloff Middle School, Julie Scharnell, Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 7)

• Richards Middle School, David Gray, Algebra Teacher (Grade 8)

• Riverside Elementary School, Kelly Specht, Reading Recovery and Early Intervention Program Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Roberts Elementary School, Celia Ramos, 5th Grade Teacher

• Rock Springs Elementary School, Kimmey Battles, 1st Grade Teacher

• Rockbridge Elementary School, Stephanie Cowman, 1st Grade Teacher

• Rosebud Elementary School, Lien Vo, Art Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Shiloh Elementary School, Kerry Nemetz, Kindergarten Teacher – Significant Developmental Delay (Kindergarten)

• Shiloh High School, Paige Lutes, Language Arts Teacher (Grades 9–12)

• Shiloh Middle School, Albert D. Hicks, Junior Leadership Corps Teacher (Grades 6–8)

• Simonton Elementary School, Kimberly A. Lynch, 1st Grade Teacher

• Simpson Elementary School, Amy Cordova, 2nd Grade Teacher

• Snellville Middle School, Jacqueline Thompson, Social Studies Teacher (Grade 6)

• South Gwinnett High School, Shelly Collins, Dance Teacher (Grades 9–12)

• Starling Elementary School, Alicia Teague, English to Speakers of Other Languages Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Stripling Elementary School, Allison Sundberg, Spanish Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Sugar Hill Elementary School, Chris Wood, Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science Teacher (Grade 4)

• Summerour Middle School, Becca Rackley, Language Arts Teacher (Grade 6)

• Suwanee Elementary School, Maurine Parker, Music Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Sweetwater Middle School, Kelly Riley, Mathematics Teacher (Grade 6)

• Sycamore Elementary School, Frank Torres, Science Teacher (Grades K–5)

• Taylor Elementary School, Renee Long, 4th Grade Teacher

• Trickum Middle School, Karissa Davenport, Science Teacher (Grade 6)

• Trip Elementary School, Lisa McKenna, Reading and Writing Teacher (Grade 5)

• Twin Rivers Middle School, Natalie Mattson, Band Teacher (Grades 6–8)

• Walnut Grove Elementary School, Kim Crews, 2nd Grade Teacher

• White Oak Elementary School, Amy Reeves, 3rd Grade Teacher

• Winn Holt Elementary School, Laura Mobley, Special Education Teacher – Moderate Intellectual Disabilities (Grades 2 and 3)

• Woodward Mill Elementary School, Emily Greenblat, Special Education Teacher (Pre-K)

According to GCPS, New Life Academy of Excellence and North Metro Academy of Performing Arts are not participating this year.

I graduated from Brookwood High School and Georgia Southern University with a degree in Journalism. I cover news and education for the largest school system in the state of Georgia.

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