During the annual celebration of Gwinnett”s educators, a high school science teacher who once thought about becoming a physician was named the 2011 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year. CEO/ Superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools, J. Alvin Wilbanks, recently announced Steve Kuninsky”s name during the final moments of the annual Teacher of Year banquet. In all, Gwinnett County Public Schools recognized 123 Teachers of the Year who were selected at their local schools by their peers. The event to honor Gwinnett”s teachers took place at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth.
Kuninsky has taught physics and biology at Parkview High School since 2002. While he enjoys teaching science, it”s something else about the power of a teacher that he says he enjoys the most. "… I am teaching because I care about young people; I want to have a positive impact on their lives, make them feel good about themselves and guide them as they begin their journey through life," said Kuninsky.
Because of his positive approach to teaching, Kuninsky was chosen from a field of more than 11,000 Gwinnett teachers. The selection process began with the naming of 123 local school Teachers of the Year. The group was later narrowed down to 25 semifinalists, and finally to the six finalists, which included one elementary school teacher, three middle school teachers and two high school teachers.
Out of the six district-wide finalists, Kuninsky was also named 2011 High School Teacher of the Year. Julie Bailey-Wegner of Mulberry Elementary was named the 2011 Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Jennifer Helfrich of Radloff Middle was named the 2011 Middle School Teacher of the Year. The other three finalists included Debbie Trevino of Bay Creek Middle; Sergio Parra of Osborne Middle; and Katie Saldarriaga of North Gwinnett High.