Skip to main content
Teacher of the Year 2018-19: Local educators honored as schools select Teachers of the Year

Saluting Gwinnett's local Teachers of the Year!

Teacher of the Year 2018-19: Local educators honored as schools select Teachers of the Year

September 10, 2018

     The first step of the district’s search for its 2018-19 Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) Teacher of the Year (TOTY) is complete and 137 local school Teachers of the Year have been designated as tops in their schools. 

     “GCPS teachers of the year represent the quality of professional educators across our district and in every school,” says Dr. 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. We also congratulate their principals and other staff who work side by side with these teachers every day to ensure a high-quality public education.”

     Every year, the school system honors the passion and commitment of its teachers during the annual Teacher of the Year recognition process that takes place during the fall. These 137 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 8, 2018.

     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

School Teacher Name Title
Alcova Elementary School  Rebekah Yoder  Local School Technology Coordinator and Technology Specials Teacher (Grade 5)
Alford Elementary School  Ashley Stanton  Special Education Teacher – Mild Intellectual Disabilities – Self-Contained (Grades 2–5)
Anderson-Livsey Elementary School  Ashley Joseph  English to Speakers of Other Languages and Early Intervention Program Teacher (Grades K–5)
Annistown Elementary School  Deborah Sears  Language Arts Teacher (Grade 3)
Arcado Elementary School  Dr. Janie Avant  Special Education Teacher – Orthopedic Impairments (Grades K–5)
Archer High School  Kim Dyer  AP Language Arts Teacher (Grade 11)
Baggett Elementary School  Falicia O’Mard  1st Grade Teacher
Baldwin Elementary School  Mallory Fannin  Language Arts, Writing and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 5)
Bay Creek Middle School  Theresa Palmer  Language Arts Teacher (Grade 8)
Beaver Ridge Elementary School  Rose Beyea  5th Grade Teacher
Benefield Elementary School  Vanessa Zebrowski  Art Teacher (Grades K–5)
Berkeley Lake Elementary School  Dawn Frazer  1st Grade Teacher
Berkmar High School  Jessica Layana-Mugan  English to Speakers of Other Languages Teacher – Level 1 Literature, Language and Communication Skills (Grades 9-11)
Berkmar Middle School  Tracey Runcie-Williams  Special Education Teacher – Interrelated Resource (Grade 8)
Bethesda Elementary School  Brynne Lee  Dual Language Immersion Teacher – Mathematics, Science and Language Literacy - Spanish (Grade 3)
Britt Elementary School  Denise Brown  5th Grade Teacher
Brookwood Elementary School  Lori Bonn  Mathematics Specials Teacher (Grades K–5)
Brookwood High School  Stephen Beall  Physics, Energy and Power Technology (Grades 9, 11 and 12)
Burnette Elementary School  Sandi Star  Gifted Education and Advanced Content Teacher – Reading and Mathematics (Grades 1–3)
Camp Creek Elementary School  Jennie Packard  3rd Grade Teacher
Cedar Hill Elementary School  Dr. Aisha Joi House  5th Grade Teacher
Centerville Elementary School  La’Keshia Y. Kafunda  2nd Grade Teacher
Central Gwinnett High School  Dr. Vivian S. Daniel  Biology Teacher (Grades 9–12)
Chattahoochee Elementary School  Cheryl B. Fletcher  2nd Grade Teacher
Chesney Elementary School  Micheal S. Barron  5th Grade Teacher
Coleman Middle School  Chandra Harmond Brandel  Mathematics Teacher (Grade 6)
Collins Hill High School  Donna Ahlswede  Chemistry Teacher (Grade 10)
Cooper Elementary School  Mary Spears  3rd Grade Teacher
Corley Elementary School  Kathy Newman  Mathematics Teacher (Grade 4)
Couch Middle School  Lindsey Saa  Social Studies Teacher (Grade 8)
Craig Elementary School  Allyson Clark  Special Education Teacher – Early Childhood Program (Pre-K)
Creekland Middle School  Linda Littlejohn  STEM Connections Teacher (Grades 6–8)
Crews Middle School  Debbie Avis  Social Studies Teacher (Grade 6)
Dacula Elementary School  Laura Larson  Special Education Teacher – Autism Spectrum Disorder (Pre-K)
Dacula High School  James E. Williams III  Choral Music Teacher (Grades 9–12)
Dacula Middle School  Derek Tuthill  Social Studies Teacher (Grade 8)
Discovery High School  Danielle Malcom  Biology and AP Biology Teacher (Grades 9–12)
Duluth High School  Jordan T. White  AP Human Geography and World Geography Teacher (Grade 9)
Duluth Middle School  Melissa Dorsey  Language Arts Teacher (Grade 7)
Duncan Creek Elementary School  Jamie Frix Cofer  Kindergarten Teacher
Dyer Elementary School  Kathryn Montelin  Mathematics, Science and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 5)
Ferguson Elementary School  Ashley Booker  Kindergarten Teacher
Five Forks Middle School  Keith Oldknow  Mathematics Teacher (Grade 8)
Fort Daniel Elementary School  Claire Durbin  Special Education Teacher – Significant Developmental Delay (Kindergarten)
Freeman’s Mill Elementary School  Julie Massey  Mathematics, Science and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 4)
GIVE Center East  Vernita M. Moore  Special Education Teacher – Interrelated Resource (Grades 9–12)
GIVE Center West  Chris Magne  Geometry and Algebra II Teacher (Grades 9–12)
Grace Snell Middle School  Evan Korth  Mathematics Teacher (Grade 8)
Graves Elementary School  Sarah Hoeflin  Drama Discoveries and Specials Teacher (Grades K–5)
Grayson Elementary School  Janice Rials  2nd Grade Teacher
Grayson High School  Stacy Kenyon  Social Studies and Psychology Teacher (Grades 11 and 12)
Gwin Oaks Elementary School  Sandra Bratescu  Special Education Teacher – Severe and Profound Intellectual Disabilities (Pre-K)
Gwinnett Online Campus  Sandy Frierson  Spanish Teacher (Grades 9–12)
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology  Collyn Milsted  Honors and Gifted Language Arts Teacher (Grade 10)
Harbins Elementary School  Cheryl Hall  Kindergarten Teacher
Harmony Elementary School  Courtney Benton  5th Grade Teacher
Harris Elementary School  Inna Arroyo  Kindergarten Teacher
Head Elementary School  Terri Odum  Kindergarten Teacher
Hopkins Elementary School  Kimberly Robinson  1st Grade Teacher
Hull Middle School  Shuanita S. Cochran  Social Studies Teacher (Grade 7)
Ivy Creek Elementary School  Sara Tyrrell  Dual Language Immersion Teacher – Language Arts and Social Studies – English (Grade 1)
Jackson Elementary School  Julie Bell  3rd Grade Teacher
Jenkins Elementary School  Chris Fendley  Language Arts, Science and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 1)
Jones Middle School  Kanika Battle  Mathematics and Accelerated Mathematics Teacher (Grade 7)
Jordan Middle School  Sandra Chedwick  Language Arts Teacher (Grade 8)
Kanoheda Elementary School  Elizabeth Lyons  4th Grade Teacher
Knight Elementary School  Heather K. Cox  English to Speakers of Other Languages Teacher (Grades K–5)
Lanier High School  Christy Battle  AP and Honors Biology and Forensic Science Teacher (Grades 10 and 12)
Lanier Middle School  Holly Hall  Accelerated Science and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 6)
Lawrenceville Elementary School  Aishah Cochran  1st Grade Teacher
Level Creek Elementary School  Shaila Khaki  Mathematics, Science and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 5)
Lilburn Elementary School  Taresa Choe Lee  5th Grade Teacher
Lilburn Middle School  Tia Milhouse  Language Arts Teacher (Grade 7)
Lovin Elementary School  Nyemadé Baker-Marsh  Special Education Teacher – Autism Spectrum Disorder – Early Childhood Program (Pre-K)
Magill Elementary School  Sheresa Kendricks  4th Grade Teacher
Mason Elementary School  Katie Vosburgh  2nd Grade Teacher
Maxwell High School of Technology  Jennifer Mundy  Early Childhood Education Teacher (Grades 10–12)
McConnell Middle School  Holly Hahn  Introduction to Algebra Teacher (Grade 8)
McKendree Elementary School  Kaitlin Tewksbury  5th Grade Teacher
Meadowcreek Elementary School  Lasandra Cobb  Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 4)
Meadowcreek High School  Twania A. White  Language Arts Teacher (Grade 10)
Mill Creek High School  Sabrina Hancock  AP Statistics and AP Research Teacher (Grades 9–12)
Minor Elementary School  Joyce Munzwandi  Kindergarten Teacher
Moore Middle School  Dr. Donna M. Domenech  Engineering and Technology Teacher (Grades 6–8)
Mountain Park Elementary School  Katie MacDonald  Writing, Mathematics and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 5)
Mountain View High School  Darryl Colley II  Engineering Teacher (Grades 9–12)
Mulberry Elementary School  Hannah Randall  Art Teacher (Grades K–5)
Nesbit Elementary School  Jasmine Lundy  Kindergarten Teacher
Norcross Elementary School  Bobbie Adamczyk  Art Teacher (Grades K–5)
Norcross High School  Darrell Cicchetti  Language Arts Teacher (Grade 9)
North Gwinnett High School  Erin Mitchell  AP Psychology Teacher (Grades 10–12)
North Gwinnett Middle School  Katie Noordhoorn  Mathematics Teacher (Grade 7)
Northbrook Center  Elin Tomov  Language Arts Teacher (Grades 6–8)
Northbrook Middle School  Dr. Dana Griffith  Health and PE Teacher (Grades 6–8)
Norton Elementary School  Michele E. Jones  Special Education Teacher – Interrelated Resource (Grades K–5)
Oakland Meadow School  Brittany Stanley  Itinerant Special Education Teacher – Vision (Grades PreK–12+)
Osborne Middle School  Tammy Martz  Social Studies Teacher (Grade 6)
Parkview High School  Heidi Campbell  Language Arts, Newspaper and Literary Magazine Teacher (Grades 9-12)
Parsons Elementary School  Ashley Bailey  2nd Grade Teacher
Partee Elementary School  Aquanda Barber  Special Education Teacher – Interrelated Resource (Grade 5)
Patrick Elementary School  Jennifer Burel  2nd Grade Teacher
Paul Duke STEM High School  Lauren O’Connor  Marketing and Journalism Teacher (Grades 9–11)
Peachtree Elementary School  Amanda A. Eady  3rd Grade Teacher
Peachtree Ridge High School  Meredith White  Spanish Teacher (Grades 9–12)
Pharr Elementary School  Ashley Dunlop  Special Education Teacher – Severe and Profound Intellectual Disabilities (Pre-K)
Phoenix High School  Cheryl D. Deas  Work-Based Learning Teacher (Grades 9–12)
Pinckneyville Middle School  Charlene R. Jackson  Mathematics Teacher (Grade 7)
Puckett’s Mill Elementary School  Sarah Hunnicutt  Kindergarten Teacher
Radloff Middle School  Julie Scharnell  Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 7)
Richards Middle School  David Gray  Algebra Teacher (Grade 8)
Riverside Elementary School  Kelly Specht  Reading Recovery and Early Intervention Program Teacher (Grades K–5)
Roberts Elementary School  Celia Ramos  5th Grade Teacher
Rock Springs Elementary School  Kimmey Battles  1st Grade Teacher
Rockbridge Elementary School  Stephanie Cowman  1st Grade Teacher
Rosebud Elementary School  Lien Vo  Art Teacher (Grades K–5)
Shiloh Elementary School  Kerry Nemetz  Kindergarten Teacher – Significant Developmental Delay (Kindergarten)
Shiloh High School  Paige Lutes  Language Arts Teacher (Grades 9–12)
Shiloh Middle School  Albert D. Hicks  Junior Leadership Corps Teacher (Grades 6–8)
Simonton Elementary School  Kimberly A. Lynch  1st Grade Teacher
Simpson Elementary School  Amy Cordova  2nd Grade Teacher
Snellville Middle School  Jacqueline Thompson  Social Studies Teacher (Grade 6)
South Gwinnett High School  Shelly Collins  Dance Teacher (Grades 9–12)
Starling Elementary School  Alicia Teague  English to Speakers of Other Languages Teacher (Grades K–5)
Stripling Elementary School  Allison Sundberg  Spanish Teacher (Grades K–5)
Sugar Hill Elementary School  Chris Wood  Language Arts, Mathematics and  Science Teacher (Grade 4)
Summerour Middle School  Becca Rackley  Language Arts Teacher (Grade 6)
Suwanee Elementary School  Maurine Parker  Music Teacher (Grades K–5)
Sweetwater Middle School  Kelly Riley  Mathematics Teacher (Grade 6)
Sycamore Elementary School  Frank Torres  Science Teacher (Grades K–5)
Taylor Elementary School  Renee Long  4th Grade Teacher
Trickum Middle School  Karissa Davenport  Science Teacher (Grade 6)
Trip Elementary School  Lisa McKenna  Reading and Writing Teacher (Grade 5)
Twin Rivers Middle School  Natalie Mattson  Band Teacher (Grades 6–8)
Walnut Grove Elementary School  Kim Crews  2nd Grade Teacher
White Oak Elementary School  Amy Reeves  3rd Grade Teacher
Winn Holt Elementary School  Laura Mobley  Special Education Teacher – Moderate  Intellectual Disabilities (Grades 2 and 3)
Woodward Mill Elementary School  Emily Greenblat  Special Education Teacher (Pre-K)


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

  Download a PDF of this article
GCPS Public (Main Tabs & Content) - Metrics Tracking Script
Complementary Content