A pair of Gwinnett County teachers are among the 10 finalists for 2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year, State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced Thursday.

Gwinnett County Public Schools Teacher of the Year Rebecca Carlisle is a finalist as is Maggie Pruitt, who is the Buford City Schools Teacher of the Year.

Carlisle teaches AP World History and STEM humanities at North Gwinnett High School. Pruitt is a self-contained special education teacher at Buford High School.

The finalists were chosen from a pool of applicants all previously selected as their school district’s Teacher of the Year. The applications were read by a panel of judges that included teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners, administrators, community leaders and others.

The finalists were chosen based on the strength of their essay responses.

“I am incredibly proud to announce the finalists for 2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year,” Woods said. “This is a group of creative, hardworking, talented teachers who pushed through great challenges this year to ensure students were still able to learn, connect, and grow. I am proud to call each of them my colleagues.”

Because the Georgia Teacher of the Year program was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s finalists were selected from the original 2021 cohort (those initially slated to be recognized in May 2020), Woods said. This ensured that cohort would not miss the opportunity to be recognized by the statewide program.

Finalists will meet with a panel of judges for a formal interview and give speeches virtually. The Georgia Teacher of the Year will be announced Aug. 7.

The 2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year will travel around the state and nation, as COVID-19 protocols allow, serving as an ambassador for the teaching profession in Georgia. He or she will also be entered in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

The 2020 and 2021 Georgia Teacher of the Year is Tracey Nance Pendley of Atlanta Public Schools.

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