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Rockdale County schools select top teachers

CONYERS - Rockdale schools have selected the top teachers who will compete for the title of Teacher of the Year in the county and later in the state.

Over the past few weeks, schools in Rockdale County used various methods to select their Teachers of the Year - educators to whom others look for inspiration and direction.

This year, "we do have a good variety among the schools," said Cindy Ball, director of community relations at RCPS.

They include teachers in kindergarten and first, fourth, fifth and eighth grades in math and English, among others, she said.

Qualified candidates were public school classroom teachers in prekindergarten through 12th grade. In Rockdale, the teachers come from all of its 22 facilities, including the elementary, middle and high schools, as well as nontraditional schools like the Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, Alpha Academy alternative school, Open Campus and the Rockdale Career Academy.

Each of the selected teachers will complete an application that allows them to discuss their teaching philosophy and reasons for deciding to serve the community as educators, Ball said.

A panel of three judges - a past winner, a retired educator and a member of a professional educational organization - will score the applications to select the final three to compete for Rockdale's Teacher of the Year title.

School officials will pay a surprise visit to the selected three teachers in their classrooms later in October.

This year, the finalist for Teacher of the Year will be announced at a special celebration in November.

"We hope this will add a little more excitement to the celebration, which is an evening program designed to honor all of our 22 Teachers of the Year," Ball said.

Rockdale's selected Teacher of the Year will go on to compete for the state's Teacher of the Year.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: RCPS Teachers of the Year

School,

Teacher

Barksdale Elementary,

Hollie Weir

C.J. Hicks Elementary,

Dornalie Henry-Antoine

Flat Shoals Elementary

,Yasmin Kelley

Hightower Trail Elementary,

Gretchen Gault

Honey Creek Elementary,

April Wiggins

J.H. House Elementary,

Amy Bundschu

Lorraine Elementary,

Keith Wach

Peek's Chapel Elementary,

Dianne Reagin

Pine Street Elementary,

Karen Paige

Shoal Creek Elementary,

Linda Adams

Sims Elementary,

Cynthia Gray

Conyers Middle,

Sonja Vernon

Davis Middle,

Josh Kammerer

Edwards Middle,

Tosha Williams

Memorial Middle,

Delvin Wilson

Heritage High,

Caroline Ingle

Rockdale County High,

Vivian Utley

Rockdale Magnet School,

Susan Gary

Salem High,

Jeannine Purvis

Alpha Academy,

De'Wanda Chester

Open Campus,

Dave Hanson

Rockdale Career Academy,

Jodi Andrews