Fourth grade teacher Michael Holliday was recently named City Schools Decatur’s Teacher of the Year. Bill Banks for the AJC

Fifth Avenue instructor named Decatur’s Teacher of the Year

Michael Holliday was in the third grade when he told classmates that he’d be a teacher someday. Turned out there were a few detours along the way, and he was in his 30s before earning his teaching certificate. Since then, borrowing a phrase he uses for encouraging his fourth graders, the rubber has hit the road.

Last week Holliday, now in only his fourth year at the 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue, was awarded City Schools Decatur’s Teacher of the Year. He was chosen from among nine teachers who captured TOY at their individual schools.

“This was not an award I ever once thought about,” Holliday said. “I’ve had so many people here who were supportive. The fact is anyone here at this school could be teacher of the year.”

Holliday, 40, grew up in Antioch, California, and was working at a Starbucks in the bay area when he decided to move to Atlanta—he had friends living here—and major in history at Georgia State. He graduated 2009, earned his teaching certificate in 2012, and taught the fourth grade for three years at College Park’s The Main Street Academy before coming to Decatur.

“I’m something of an entertainer in the classroom,” Holliday said. “I do impressions, I do voices. But the expectations are clear and there comes a time when the rubber hits the road and it’s time to get the work done.”

Decatur’s individual schools teachers of the year: Stacey Labouchere, College Heights ECLC; Kelly Nichols, Clairemont Elementary; Amelia Copp, Glennwood Elementary; Malisa Henderson, Oakhurst Elementary; Latonya Henry, Westchester Elementary; Kate Woodbridge, Winnona Park Elementary; Johnnie Story, Renfroe Middle; Jennifer Gonzalez, Decatur High.

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