Gwinnett names local school Teachers of the Year

Has your teacher been named? Check the list below.

Gwinnett County Public Schools have named 137 Teachers of the Year for individual schools. The final Teacher of the Year will be named in November.

Although just about every student believes their favorite teacher is the best ever, Gwinnett County has named the Teachers of the Year for each of 137 local schools. This is the first step of the district’s search for its 2018-19 Gwinnett County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. 

“GCPS teachers of the year represent the quality of professional educators across our district and in every school,” said Jonathan Patterson, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction support. “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.”

Every year, the school system honors these local school honorees who will move into the next phase of the TOTY process as they are considered for the systemwide honor.

Later this month, this group will be narrowed down to 25 semifinalists. 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 Thursday, Nov. 8. 

Here’s an overview of the selection process:

Step 1 -- All teachers at each participating Gwinnett school nominate and vote for their local school Teacher of the Year. 

Step 2 -- The applications for all 137 school-level Teachers of the Year are screened and 25 semifinalists for the county-level are selected.

Step 3 -- The 25 semifinalists’ applications are scored to determine the six finalists.

 Step 4 -- A selection committee— made up of teachers, central office personnel, and administrators— visits the classrooms of the six finalists and conducts thorough interviews with each educator. The committee looks for original teaching methods, studies the educator’s teaching philosophy, considers the influence the teacher has had on the teaching practices of his/her colleagues, and reviews any special class projects the teacher has initiated.

Step 5 -- From the six finalists, the committee will select a Teacher of the Year for each level— elementary, middle, and high. One of the level winners will be recognized as GCPS’ 2018-19 Teacher of the Year. 

2018-19 Local Teachers of the Year

Alcova Elementary School, Rebekah YoderLocal School Technology Coordinator and Technology Specials Teacher (Grade 5)

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

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

Annistown Elementary School, Deborah SearsLanguage Arts Teacher (Grade 3)

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

Archer High School, Kim DyerAP Language Arts Teacher (Grade 11)

Baggett Elementary School, Falicia O’Mard1st Grade Teacher

Baldwin Elementary School, Mallory FanninLanguage Arts, Writing, and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 5)

Bay Creek Middle School, Theresa PalmerLanguage Arts Teacher (Grade 8)

Beaver Ridge Elementary School, Rose Beyea5th Grade Teacher

Benefield Elementary School, Vanessa ZebrowskiArt Teacher (Grades K–5)

Berkeley Lake Elementary School, Dawn Frazer1st Grade Teacher

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

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

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

Britt Elementary School, Denise Brown5th Grade Teacher

Brookwood Elementary School, Lori BonnMathematics Specials Teacher (Grades K–5)

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

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

Camp Creek Elementary School, Jennie Packard3rd Grade Teacher

Cedar Hill Elementary School, Dr. Aisha Joi House5th Grade Teacher

Centerville Elementary School, La’Keshia Y. Kafunda2nd Grade Teacher

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

Chattahoochee Elementary School, Cheryl B. Fletcher2nd Grade Teacher

Chesney Elementary School, Micheal S. Barron5th Grade Teacher

Coleman Middle School, Chandra Harmond BrandelMathematics Teacher (Grade 6)

Collins Hill High School, Donna AhlswedeChemistry Teacher (Grade 10)

Cooper Elementary School, Mary Spears3rd Grade Teacher

Corley Elementary School, Kathy NewmanMathematics Teacher (Grade 4)

Couch Middle School, Lindsey SaaSocial Studies Teacher (Grade 8)

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

Creekland Middle School, Linda LittlejohnSTEM Connections Teacher (Grades 6–8)

Crews Middle School, Debbie AvisSocial Studies Teacher (Grade 6)

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

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

Dacula Middle School, Derek TuthillSocial Studies Teacher (Grade 8)

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

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

Duluth Middle School, Melissa DorseyLanguage Arts Teacher (Grade 7)

Duncan Creek Elementary School, Jamie Frix CoferKindergarten Teacher

Dyer Elementary School, Kathryn MontelinMathematics, Science, and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 5)

Ferguson Elementary School, Ashley BookerKindergarten Teacher

Five Forks Middle School, Keith OldknowMathematics Teacher (Grade 8)

Fort Daniel Elementary School, Claire DurbinSpecial Education Teacher – Significant Developmental Delay (Kindergarten)

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

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

GIVE Center West, Chris MagneGeometry and Algebra II Teacher (Grades 9–12)

Grace Snell Middle School, Evan KorthMathematics Teacher (Grade 8)

Graves Elementary School, Sarah HoeflinDrama Discoveries and Specials Teacher (Grades K–5)

Grayson Elementary School, Janice Rials2nd Grade Teacher

Grayson High School, Stacy KenyonSocial Studies and Psychology Teacher (Grades 11 and 12)

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

Gwinnett Online Campus, Sandy FriersonSpanish Teacher (Grades 9–12)

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

Harbins Elementary School, Cheryl HallKindergarten Teacher

Harmony Elementary School, Courtney Benton5th Grade Teacher

Harris Elementary School, Inna ArroyoKindergarten Teacher

Head Elementary School, Terri OdumKindergarten Teacher

Hopkins Elementary School, Kimberly Robinson1st Grade Teacher

Hull Middle School, Shuanita S. CochranSocial Studies Teacher (Grade 7)

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

Jackson Elementary School, Julie Bell3rd Grade Teacher

Jenkins Elementary School, Chris FendleyLanguage Arts, Science, and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 1)

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

Jordan Middle School, Sandra ChedwickLanguage Arts Teacher (Grade 8)

Kanoheda Elementary School, Elizabeth Lyons4th Grade Teacher

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

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

Lanier Middle School, Holly HallAccelerated Science and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 6)

Lawrenceville Elementary School, Aishah Cochran1st Grade Teacher

Level Creek Elementary School, Shaila KhakiMathematics, Science, and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 5)

Lilburn Elementary School, Taresa Choe Lee5th Grade Teacher

Lilburn Middle School, Tia MilhouseLanguage Arts Teacher (Grade 7)

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

Magill Elementary School, Sheresa Kendricks4th Grade Teacher

Mason Elementary School, Katie Vosburgh2nd Grade Teacher

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

McConnell Middle School, Holly HahnIntroduction to Algebra Teacher (Grade 8)

McKendree Elementary School, Kaitlin Tewksbury5th Grade Teacher

Meadowcreek Elementary School, Lasandra CobbLanguage Arts and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 4)

Meadowcreek High School, Twania A. WhiteLanguage Arts Teacher (Grade 10)

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

Minor Elementary School, Joyce MunzwandiKindergarten Teacher

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

Mountain Park Elementary School, Katie MacDonaldWriting, Mathematics, and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 5)

Mountain View High School, Darryl Colley IIEngineering Teacher (Grades 9–12)

Mulberry Elementary School, Hannah RandallArt Teacher (Grades K–5)

Nesbit Elementary School, Jasmine LundyKindergarten Teacher

Norcross Elementary School, Bobbie AdamczykArt Teacher (Grades K–5)

Norcross High School, Darrell CicchettiLanguage Arts Teacher (Grade 9)

North Gwinnett High School, Erin MitchellAP Psychology Teacher (Grades 10–12)

North Gwinnett Middle School, Katie NoordhoornMathematics Teacher (Grade 7)

Northbrook Center, Elin TomovLanguage Arts Teacher (Grades 6–8)

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

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

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

Osborne Middle School, Tammy MartzSocial Studies Teacher (Grade 6)

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

Parsons Elementary School, Ashley Bailey2nd Grade Teacher

Partee Elementary School, Aquanda BarberSpecial Education Teacher – Interrelated Resource (Grade 5)

Patrick Elementary School, Jennifer Burel2nd Grade Teacher

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

Peachtree Elementary School, Amanda A. Eady3rd Grade Teacher

Peachtree Ridge High School, Meredith WhiteSpanish Teacher (Grades 9–12)

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

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

Pinckneyville Middle School, Charlene R. JacksonMathematics Teacher (Grade 7)

Puckett’s Mill Elementary School, Sarah HunnicuttKindergarten Teacher

Radloff Middle School, Julie ScharnellLanguage Arts and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 7)

Richards Middle School, David GrayAlgebra Teacher (Grade 8)

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

Roberts Elementary School, Celia Ramos5th Grade Teacher

Rock Springs Elementary School, Kimmey Battles1st Grade Teacher

Rockbridge Elementary School, Stephanie Cowman1st Grade Teacher

Rosebud Elementary School, Lien VoArt Teacher (Grades K–5)

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

Shiloh High School, Paige LutesLanguage Arts Teacher (Grades 9–12)

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

Simonton Elementary School, Kimberly A. Lynch1st Grade Teacher

Simpson Elementary School, Amy Cordova2nd Grade Teacher

Snellville Middle School, Jacqueline ThompsonSocial Studies Teacher (Grade 6)

South Gwinnett High School, Shelly CollinsDance Teacher (Grades 9–12)

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

Stripling Elementary School, Allison SundbergSpanish Teacher (Grades K–5)

Sugar Hill Elementary School, Chris WoodLanguage Arts, Mathematics, and Science Teacher (Grade 4)

Summerour Middle School, Becca RackleyLanguage Arts Teacher (Grade 6)

Suwanee Elementary School, Maurine ParkerMusic Teacher (Grades K–5)

Sweetwater Middle School, Kelly RileyMathematics Teacher (Grade 6)

Sycamore Elementary School, Frank TorresScience Teacher (Grades K–5)

Taylor Elementary School, Renee Long4th Grade Teacher

Trickum Middle School, Karissa DavenportScience Teacher (Grade 6)

Trip Elementary School, Lisa McKennaReading and Writing Teacher (Grade 5)

Twin Rivers Middle School, Natalie MattsonBand Teacher (Grades 6–8)

Walnut Grove Elementary School, Kim Crews2nd Grade Teacher

White Oak Elementary School, Amy Reeves3rd Grade Teacher

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

Woodward Mill Elementary School, Emily GreenblatSpecial Education Teacher (Pre-K)

NOTE: New Life Academy of Excellence and North Metro Academy of Performing Arts are not participating this year.