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2013 Teacher of the Year Announced for Snellville Schools

Selected by their colleagues at their local schools, these dedicated educators are known for challenging and motivating their students to reach their full learning potential.

Communities across Gwinnett County are celebrating their best teachers as each Gwinnett school names its Teacher of the Year (TOTY), the first step in the district’s search for its 2013 Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) Teacher of the Year.

“Being selected at the local level means that other individuals in the profession recognize the instructional expertise and communal value the local TOTY brings to their school,” says Nikki Mouton, Gwinnett’s executive director of staff development. “This is an opportunity to highlight the attention to excellence the entire school has as their TOTY represents the phenomenal instruction and professionalism taking place throughout their building.

The school system annually honors the commitment and devotion of its teachers during the annual Teacher of the Year recognition process that takes place each fall. This year’s 131 local school honorees 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, November 1, 2012.

Local Teachers of the Year:

  • Anderson-Livsey Elementary, Amber Russell, Gifted Education Teacher (Grades K-5)
  • Annistown Elementary, Dale Grant, Health and Physical Education Teacher (Grades K-5)
  • Britt Elementary, Pam Zuber, 3rd Grade Teacher
  • Brookwood Elementary, Debbie Taylor, Mathematics Teacher (Grade 5)
  • Brookwood High, Laura Stanley, Band Teacher (Grades 9-12)
  • Centerville Elementary, John Warhol, Physical Education Teacher (Grades K-5)
  • Norton Elementary, Mary Ann Zudekoff, Special Education Teacher -Interrelated Resource (Grade 5)
  • Partee Elementary, Erin Breland, Music Teacher (Grades K-5)
  • Pharr Elementary, Darika Stevens, Art Teacher (Grades K-5)
  • Shiloh Elementary, Autumn Ginn, Music Teacher (Grades K-5)
  • Shiloh High, Nancy Chrisman, Special Education Teacher - Mild Intellectual Disabilities (Grades 9-12)
  • Shiloh Middle, Roya Sadri, English to Speakers of Other Languages Teacher - Language Arts (Grades 6-8)
  • Snellville Middle, Heather Switzer, Science Teacher (Grade 6)
  • South Gwinnett High, Andie McDaniel, Special Education Teacher - Mild Intellectual Disabilities (Grades 9-12)

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 131 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’ 2013 Teacher of the Year.

(Editor's note: information provided by Gwinnett County Public Schools.)

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