STEM educator wins Gwinnett Teacher of the Year

An elementary school teacher whose students are learning computer coding is Gwinnett County’s Teacher of the Year.

Trisha Connor, who teaches science, technology, engineering and math, at Harbins Elementary School received the honor at a banquet Tuesday night.

Connor said she hopes the honor will bring more attention to the importance of those subjects, known as STEM. Georgia educators and political leaders have pushed for more STEM courses in public schools because jobs in those professions have higher paying salaries.

Connor, who’s been teaching in the Gwinnett district since 1999, spoke of the creativity and innovation STEM produces. Connor said in an interview she also hopes to get more girls interested in STEM.

“That’s why the United States is having to seek workers elsewhere in those fields. It’s because we put enough boys into those jobs, but we’re not putting enough girls and that’s where we’re missing something,” she said.

Connor was selected by a committee of Gwinnett educators. She will receive a laptop computer, a $1,000 stipend each year for the rest of her career in the Gwinnett district and a new vehicle for one year from the Hayes Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership.

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