Gwinnett County Public Schools has named a 2022 Teacher of the Year — again.
Arcado Elementary School first grade teacher Jamie Garcia Caycho, who had been the runner-up for districtwide recognition in December, was announced as the district’s new 2022 Teacher of the Year on Tuesday. District officials said Caycho was officially named the district’s Teacher of the Year on June 3.
The announcement came weeks after Archer High School teacher Lee Allen, who had been crowned as the districtwide teacher of the year in December, announced he would leave GCPS, at the end of the 2021-2022 school year and take a job in another school district.
GCPS officials said Allen, whose resignation generated headlines, no longer met the active teaching status criteria outlined by the state’s Teacher of the Year program because he had resigned from the district. Allen had acknowledged last month that he was willingly walking away from the chance to compete for statewide Teacher of the Year honors as well as financial incentives.
“In addition to holding active teaching status, teachers of the year are chosen because they are seen as an expert in the field who advance growth for students of all backgrounds and abilities,” district officials said in an announcement. “They are teachers who build collaborative relationships with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of success and play an active and valuable role in the community and the school.”
In addition to being named the districtwide runner up in December, Caycho was named GCPS’ Elementary School Teacher of the Year at that time.
Caycho’s family immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 7 and decided to work closely with the Hispanic student population to help them succeed. She established Hispanos Esforzandose por Resultados, Oportunidades, y Exito, or H.E.R.O.E., at her school to provide outreach to Hispanic students and their families. The organization’s name translates, in English, to Hispanics Making Efforts for Results, Opportunities and Success.
Now that she is the district’s Teacher of the Year, Caycho will receive $1,000 a year as long as she is employed by GCPS. District officials said she also received $4,000 when she was named the 2022 Teacher of the Year.