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Gwinnett names top teacher for every district school

By Amanda C. Coyne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga (CNT)

Educators at 139 Gwinnett County public schools have been honored as their school’s Teacher of the Year.

This is the first step in the Gwinnett County Public Schools Teacher of the Year award process. Of the 139 local teachers of the year, 25 will be chosen as semi-finalists for the district-wide award. That will be narrowed down to six finalists, then winners for elementary school, middle school and high school levels. From those school-level winners, one will be chosen as Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year and move on to compete for the title of Georgia Teacher of the Year.

Rebecca Carlisle, a history teacher at North Gwinnett High School, won the district-wide award in 2019.

Local teachers of the year are chosen by their peers. Teachers at each school nominate and vote for who they believe should receive the honor and move forward in the awards process. The 139 are narrowed to 25 semifinalists after a review of application materials. A selection committee interviews the semifinalists, observes them teaching and reviews other factors including special projects and the teachers’ influence on their peers’ teaching.

All local school winners will receive one-time $200 bonuses. The educator who wins the district-wide award will get a $1,000 bonus every year he or she works for the district, free use of a car for a year and gifts including a new laptop and a grocery store gift card. The district-wide winner will be announced in a Dec. 10 virtual celebration. The event is typically held in person, but has been moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local teachers of the year for 2020 are:

Alcova Elementary School: Yvonda Thomas, Gifted Education – Language Arts (Grades 1-5)

Alford Elementary School: Kaitlin Isabelle, Gifted Education (Grades K-5)

Anderson-Livsey Elementary School: Penny Dalin, 4th Grade

Annistown Elementary School: Tracy Clarke, 1st Grade

Arcado Elementary School: Kathryn M. Honea, 5th Grade

Archer High School: David Nelson, AP and Honors Physics (Grade 11)

Baggett Elementary School: Vandana Bhagat, Technology (Grades K-5)

Baldwin Elementary School: Jennifer Ko, 1st Grade

Bay Creek Middle School: Janet Donnelly, Social Studies (Grade 7)

Beaver Ridge Elementary School: Rachel Middleton, 1st Grade

Benefield Elementary School: Tiffany Suzette Nelson, English to Speakers of Other Languages (Grades K-5)

Berkeley Lake Elementary School: Melissa Redner, 5th Grade

Berkmar High School: Dr. Jessica Ewalt, AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, and AP Research (Grade 12)

Berkmar Middle School: Matthew Pelli, Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorder (Level 2) (Grades 6-8)

Bethesda Elementary School: Ronelle Nelson, 1st Grade

Britt Elementary School: Kasshavin Clemons, Language Arts and Mathematics (Grade 3)

Brookwood Elementary School: Allison Huckle, 1st Grade

Brookwood High School: Danielle Kaiser, History (Grades 11 and 12)

Buice Center: Dr. Melinda Horton, Special Education – STRIVE Program (Grade 12+)

Burnette Elementary School: Tara Nolan, Special Education – Significant Developmental Delay (Kindergarten and Grade 1)

Camp Creek Elementary School: Madison Pogue, 4th Grade

Cedar Hill Elementary School: Marcia Place, 5th Grade

Centerville Elementary School: Ontoya Fowler, 1st Grade

Central Gwinnett High School: Kelsey Allen, Language Arts (Grade 9)

Chattahoochee Elementary School: Stephanie Kennedy, 5th Grade

Chesney Elementary School: Ji Park, 5th Grade

Coleman Middle School: Kelley Curtiss Donovan, Humanities (Grade 6)

Collins Hill High School: Hali Chase, Spanish (Grades 9-12)

Cooper Elementary School: Beth Stetter, Kindergarten

Corley Elementary School: Stephanie M. Shane, Special Education – Interrelated Resource (Grade 5)

Couch Middle School: Carrie Harrison, Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorder (Level 3) (Grades 6-8)

Craig Elementary School: Dorrie Gann, Media Specialist (Grades K-5)

Creekland Middle School: Leslie Crider, Language Arts (Grade 7)

Crews Middle School: Dr. Kinsey Edwards, Orchestra (Grades 6-8)

Dacula Elementary School: Stephanie Malley, 3rd Grade

Dacula High School: Byron Wilson, Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorder (Level 3) (Grades 9-12)

Dacula Middle School: Thelma Sanford, Mathematics (Grade 7)

Discovery High School: Diane E. Sullivan, Theatre and Peer Leadership (Grades 9-12)

Duluth High School: Whitley Arens Parker, Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorder (Level 4) and Interrelated Resource (Grades 10-12)

Duluth Middle School: Alynna Nguyen, Accelerated Mathematics (Grade 7)

Duncan Creek Elementary School: Beth McDowell, Gifted Education and Advanced Content Mathematics (Grades 1, 2, 3, and 5)

Dyer Elementary School: Matt Bonk, Kindergarten

Ferguson Elementary School: Carol Patricia Grey, Special Education – Interrelated Resource (Grades 1-3)

Five Forks Middle School: Julianne Purnell, Health (Grades 6-8)

Fort Daniel Elementary School: Heather Thorpe, 5th Grade

Freeman’s Mill Elementary School: Sandy Sproles, 2nd Grade

GIVE Center East: Sha-Von Valentine, Special Education – Language Arts (Grade 11)

GIVE Center West: Erica Freeman-Jones, Language Arts (Grades 8 and 9)

Grace Snell Middle School: Benjamin Beitzel, Social Studies (Grade 8)

Graves Elementary School: La’Bria Monae Hannah, 3rd Grade

Grayson Elementary School: Ferdye Bamaca-Forkel, 1st Grade

Grayson High School: Devine Wright, Language Arts (Grades 11 and 12)

Gwin Oaks Elementary School: Jennifer Mimms, Local School Technology Coordinator (Grades K-5)

Gwinnett Online Campus: Elizabeth Lorimer, Language Arts (Grade 8)

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology: Laura Gray, Mathematics and Computer Science (Grades 9-12)

Harbins Elementary School: Melissa Barth, 2nd Grade

Harmony Elementary School: Jennifer Branch, Kindergarten

Harris Elementary School: Kelcey M. Chancey, 3rd Grade

Head Elementary School: Kelly Duggan, Technology (Grades K-5)

Hopkins Elementary School: Janet Kim, 1st Grade

Hull Middle School: Jacqueline Hall, Mathematics (Grade 8)

International Transition Center: Mary Stoikov, English to Speakers of Other Languages – World History and U.S. History (Grades 9-11)

Ivy Creek Elementary School: Samantha Carr, Dual Language Immersion – Language Arts and Social Studies – English (Grade 2)

Jackson Elementary School: Audrey Massey, 1st Grade

Jenkins Elementary School: Teosha Teasley, 5th Grade

Jones Middle School, Autumn Sutton, Computer Science and Digital Technology (Grades 6-8)

Jordan Middle School: Shannon Haney, Social Studies (Grade 8)

Kanoheda Elementary School: Chloe Franklin, 1st Grade

Knight Elementary School: Olivia Boza, 2nd Grade

Lanier High School: Collin Jones, History (Grades 9-12)

Lanier Middle School: Dena Dale, Language Arts (Grade 7)

Lawrenceville Elementary School: Juliann Terrell, Media Specialist (Grades K-5)

Level Creek Elementary School: Amanda Flanter, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies (Grade 4)

Lilburn Elementary School: Lena Alonso, Special Education – Interrelated Resource (Grade 5)

Lilburn Middle School: Naveed A. Khan, Social Studies (Grade 6)

Lovin Elementary School: Kinsley Compton, Spanish (Grades K-5)

Magill Elementary School: Katelyn McClure, 2nd Grade

Mason Elementary School: Katherine Wasson, 5th Grade

Maxwell High School of Technology: Linda Minor, Academies and Career and Technical Education – Flight Operations Pathway (Grades 10-12)

McClure Health Science High School: Dr. Leslie Dunham, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics, and Physics (Grades 11 and 12)

McConnell Middle School: Rebecca Gandy, Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorder (Level 2) (Grades 6-8)

McKendree Elementary School: Keona Doughty, Language Arts (Grade 3)

Meadowcreek Elementary School: Erica Lloyd, Instructional Coach (Grades K-5)

Meadowcreek High School: Richard Tilford, Special Education – Science and Interrelated Resource (Grades 11 and 12)

Mill Creek High School: Ashley Farrington, Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorder (Level 1) (Grades 9-12)

Minor Elementary School: Sara Welp, 5th Grade

Moore Middle School: Choy Roberts, Algebra I (Grade 8)

Mountain Park Elementary School: Katrina Tucker, 1st Grade

Mountain View High School: Danielle Jenkins, Special Education – Moderate Intellectual Disabilities (Grades 9-12+)

Mulberry Elementary School: Virginia Dreybus, Reading Recovery and 1st Grade

Nesbit Elementary School: Heather Bright, 2nd Grade

Norcross Elementary School: Kalena M. Bennett, 4th Grade

Norcross High School: Sarah Miller, Local School Technology Coordinator

North Gwinnett High School: Kevin Blankenship, AP World History (Grade 10)

North Gwinnett Middle School: Beth Cure, Algebra I (Grade 8)

Northbrook Middle School: Angelika Shelley, Social Studies (Grade 6)

Norton Elementary School: Catrice Byrd-Pippens, Special Education (Pre-K)

Oakland Meadow School: Angela Lamont, Special Education – Visual Impairment (Grades Pre-K-12+)

Osborne Middle School: Beckie Fulcher, Social Studies (Grade 7)

Parkview High School: Heather Baug Graham, Language Arts (Grades 9 and 11)

Parsons Elementary School: Lisa Isom-Jones, 1st Grade

Partee Elementary School: Mona Brawley, STEAM (Grades K-5)

Patrick Elementary School: DeeDee Thomas, 2nd Grade

Paul Duke STEM High School: Philip Peavy, Cybersecurity and Game Design (Grades 10-12)

Peachtree Elementary School: Kelly Sibley, Reading Recovery and English to Speakers of Other Languages (Grades 1-3)

Peachtree Ridge High School: Nina M. Hidalgo, Spanish for Native Speakers (Grades 9-12)

Pharr Elementary School: Alicia Lyman, Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorder (Level 2) (Grades K-2)

Phoenix High School: Matt Rooks, History (Grades 9-12)

Pinckneyville Middle School: Dennise Peagler, Language Arts (Grade 8)

Puckett’s Mill Elementary School: Jill McKee, Special Education – Moderate Intellectual Disabilities (Grades 4 and 5)

Radloff Middle School: Dr. Derrick Cunningham, Social Studies (Grade 8)

Richards Middle School: Dre Reaves, Science (Grade 6)

Riverside Elementary School: Genny Greco, 3rd Grade

Roberts Elementary School: Hope Russell, 1st Grade

Rock Springs Elementary School: Adrian Wilkins, Special Education – Significant Developmental Delay (Kindergarten)

Rockbridge Elementary School: Georgia O’Connor, 3rd Grade

Rosebud Elementary School: Jennifer Ritter, Kindergarten

Shiloh Elementary School: Sheila Rogers, Kindergarten

Shiloh High School: Cynthia Onyebuchi, Special Education – Science (Grades 9-12)

Shiloh Middle School: Jairus E. Hallums, Language Arts (Grade 8)

Simonton Elementary School: Derica Sherrer, 5th Grade

Simpson Elementary School: Sarah Mazzatta, Special Education – Autism Spectrum Disorder (Level 3) (Kindergarten and Grade 1)

Snellville Middle School: Bryant Poss, Media Specialist (Grades 6-8)

South Gwinnett High School: Danielle Swaby, Work-Based Learning (Grades 11 and 12)

Starling Elementary School: Teresa R. Blackman, 3rd Grade

Stripling Elementary School: Lisa Stubbs, 3rd Grade

Sugar Hill Elementary School: Katie Blum, 2nd Grade

Summerour Middle School: Nancy Ortiz-Daley, Language Arts (Grade 6)

Suwanee Elementary School: Medina Kovacevic, Gifted Education – Language Arts (Grade 5)

Sweetwater Middle School: Jason Tyler, Social Studies (Grade 8)

Sycamore Elementary School: Amy Stout, Instructional Coach (Grades 2-5)

Taylor Elementary School: Judi Morrison, Special Education – Interrelated Resource (Grades 3 and 4)

Trickum Middle School: Kelsi Carter Hamilton, Language Arts (Grade 8)

Trip Elementary School: Courtney L. Smith, Music (Grades K-5)

Twin Rivers Middle School: Katy Bettencourt, Language Arts (Grade 8)

Walnut Grove Elementary School: Ashley Garcia, Mathematics (Grade 5)

White Oak Elementary School: Kristy Shea, 1st Grade

Winn Holt Elementary School: Lindsay Fidanza, 1st Grade

Woodward Mill Elementary School: Laura Philmon, Special Education – Interrelated Resource (Grade 4)