Cobb celebrates 2020 ‘Teachers of the Year’

Michelle Gottenberg of Mabry Middle School celebrates being named a 2020 teacher of the year for the Cobb County School District

Credit: Cobb County School District

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Michelle Gottenberg of Mabry Middle School celebrates being named a 2020 teacher of the year for the Cobb County School District

Credit: Cobb County School District

The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed how the Cobb County School District teaches children, but it hasn’t stopped the system from recognizing a select group of educators who help prepare youngsters for the future.

Superintendent Chris Ragsdale on Thursday announced the district’s 2020 Teachers of the Year: Darline Douangvilay, City View Elementary School; Michelle Gottenberg, Mabry Middle School; and Beth Foster, Osborne High School.

The superintendent traditionally surprises three teachers each year with something similar to a pep rally complete with balloons, flowers and cheers. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ragsdale’s announcement was conducted remotely during his Welcome Back address.

Douangvilay, who teaches fifth-grade at City View (formerly known as Riverside Intermediate), enjoys incorporating her students’ cultural backgrounds into her lessons. The school district said her passion stems from her childhood as an English language learner, and she works to make learning accessible for students with similar backgrounds.

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Darline Douangvilay of City View Elementary School is a 2020 teacher of the year for the Cobb County School District.

Credit: Cobb County School District

Darline Douangvilay of City View Elementary School is a 2020 teacher of the year for the Cobb County School District.

Credit: Cobb County School District

Combined ShapeCaption
Darline Douangvilay of City View Elementary School is a 2020 teacher of the year for the Cobb County School District.

Credit: Cobb County School District

Credit: Cobb County School District

“Darline has a tireless work ethic, and can always be found volunteering for events and lending a helping hand to her co-workers. She is a true servant leader,” said City View Assistant Principal Brian Burnah.

Gottenberg is a seventh-grade English teacher at Mabry. Her principal, Jonathan Tanner, said Gottenberg has an ability to connect with students and is a positive asset to the school. Gottenberg was overwhelmed with the surprise announcement.

“This is surreal,” she said. “It will take me some time to process this.”

Foster teaches English as a second language and history at Osborne. Principal Josh Morreale said Foster works well with her high school students, is supportive of her colleagues and is willing to “help with everything from strategies for completing tasks or necessary paperwork to giving ideas for classwork and projects.”

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Beth Foster of Osborne High School is a 2020 teacher of the year for the Cobb County School District.

Credit: Cobb County School District

Beth Foster of Osborne High School is a 2020 teacher of the year for the Cobb County School District.

Credit: Cobb County School District

Combined ShapeCaption
Beth Foster of Osborne High School is a 2020 teacher of the year for the Cobb County School District.

Credit: Cobb County School District

Credit: Cobb County School District

Foster said she was “humbled” by the award.

“Any recognition belongs just as much to my students and colleagues at Osborne High School for their inspiration, encouragement, and support day in and day out,” she said. “This has been such a unique experience and something I will cherish as I embrace the adventures it will bring.”

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