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Deadline Sunday for Celebration of Excellence
Top teachers, partners in education honored at Monday luncheon
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going
The Celebration of Excellence is set for 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday at Lambert High School, 805 Nichols Road. Anyone interested in attending must R.S.V.P. by today to

Forsyth County Schools’ top teacher will be named and community partners honored during a luncheon Monday.

Sponsored by the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce and Northside Hospital-Forsyth, the annual event recognizes all of the district’s school-level Teachers of the Year.

The top educator will then be announced from three finalists representing the elementary, middle and high school levels.

The finalists, who were revealed during surprise school visits in late March, include: Lesa Barnett, a special needs teacher at Matt Elementary; Aly Brown, a math instructor at Piney Grove Middle; and Natalie Kitchens, an English teacher from Lambert High.

Lindsey Nelson, the chamber's director of communications and events, said there is no cost to attend the luncheon, but an R.S.V.P. is required by today.

“We encourage anyone with a vested interest in the school system to attend to help us recognize and congratulate those businesses and individuals that make an impact on the lives of our young people,” Nelson said.

Judi Jenkins, the school system’s community relations facilitator, said the luncheon is like no other.

“I don’t know of any other community event where everyone comes together to recognize all these special people at one time,” Jenkins said. “It’s a great way to recognize community leaders and these stellar teachers of the year.”

She said in addition to the Teacher of the Year award, a number of awards will also go to the school system’s partners in education.

Among them will be the Don Hendricks Award.

“That’s the most prestigious award a partner in education can receive,” Jenkins said.

The school system’s Parent Teacher Associations and Organizations, or PTAs and PTOs, will also be recognized.

Last year’s event drew about 320 people, Jenkins said.

Nelson said organizers expect about 400 on Monday.