Education

Gwinnett Selects Semifinalists for 2016-17 Teacher of the Year

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A committee from Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) recently narrowed down the list of Gwinnett’s top educators on the road to being named the 2016-17 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year. The committee announced the names of the 25 semifinalists to be considered for the system’s top honor. The group of 15 elementary, five middle, and five high school teachers was selected from the initial list of 135 local school Teachers of the Year who were nominated by their colleagues at their local schools. The 2016-17 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year will be announced in November at the annual Teacher of the Year banquet.

This year’s Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year semifinalists are:

  • Allison T. Adams of Partee Elementary School – 5th Grade Teacher
  • Phil Bemiss of Graves Elementary School – 4th Grade Teacher
  • Nicole Briggs of Dacula Elementary School – Kindergarten Teacher
  • Dawson Devitt of Radloff Middle School – Algebra Teacher (Grade 8)
  • Berkley Fain of Berkeley Lake Elementary School – 5th Grade Teacher
  • Lisa Hamilton of Pinckneyville Middle School – Social Studies Teacher (Grade 8)
  • Ashlei B. Haskell of Meadowcreek Elementary School – Early Intervention Program Teacher (Grades K-5)
  • Tristin N. Hayes of Trickum Middle School – Mathematics Teacher (Grade 7)
  • Lesley Longino Hill of Mason Elementary School – Reading Recovery Teacher and Literacy Coach (Grades K-5)
  • Tina Lee of Harmony Elementary School – 5th Grade Teacher
  • Tori Loke of North Gwinnett Middle School – Language Arts Teacher (Grade 7)
  • Kirsten Lombardo of Duluth High School – AP U.S. History and AP Psychology Teacher (Grades 11 and 12)
  • Brittany Mayweather of Mulberry Elementary School – 4th Grade Teacher
  • Jamie Lynn McFarland of Rock Springs Elementary School – Special Education Teacher – Severe and Profound Intellectual Disabilities (Grades
  • Jennifer Moon of Brookwood Elementary School – Entrepreneurship and Gifted Education Teacher -Language Arts (Grade 5)
  • Julie Pemberton of Cooper Elementary School – Gifted Education Teacher (Grades 2 and 3)
  • Karen A. Phillips of Jenkins Elementary School – 5th Grade Teacher
  • Alex Robson of GIVE Center West – Language Arts Teacher (Grades 6 and 7)
  • Bernadette Butler Scruggs of Peachtree Ridge High School – Orchestra Teacher (Grades 9-12)
  • Brian Sinyard of Chattahoochee Elementary School – 4th Grade Teacher
  • Luke Smith of Norcross High School – Algebra II Teacher (Grade 11)
  • Alma E. Tallaksen of Lawrenceville Elementary School – Science Specialist (Grades K-5)
  • Stephanie Timmons of Brookwood High School – American Literature and AP Language and Composition Teacher (Grades 11 and 12)
  • Kelly Wilkinson of Puckett’s Mill Elementary School – Special Education Teacher – Severe and Profound Intellectual Disabilities (Grades 3-5)
  • Matthew M. Winking of Phoenix High School – Mathematics Teacher (Grades 10-12)

The committee— made up of teachers, central office personnel, and administrators— will now consider the semifinalists’ applications and answers to a set of additional questions in order to determine six finalists. Committee members will then make site visits to the classrooms of the group of finalists and conduct thorough interviews with each educator.

During the classroom visit, the committee members will look for original teaching methods, study the teacher’s teaching philosophy, review special class projects the teacher has initiated, and consider the influence the teacher has had on the teaching practices of his/her colleagues. They also will review each teacher’s educational degrees and civic activities.

Based on their findings, committee members will select an elementary, middle, and a high school Teacher of the Year. They will be announced during the banquet. One of the three “level winners” will be named Gwinnett’s 2016-17 Teacher of the Year.

The annual Teacher of the Year banquet will be held Thursday, November 10, 2016, at the Infinite Center in Duluth.