The following are the teachers of the year at their respective schools:
Big Creek -- Peggy Mealor, second grade
Brookwood -- Maureen Paluzzi, physical education
Chattahoochee -- Elfriede DiMola, fourth grade
Chestatee -- Sabrina Bergen, third grade
Coal Mountain -- Michelle Miller, second grade
Cumming -- Jennifer Lozen, second grade
Daves Creek -- Kim McCracken, fifth grade
Haw Creek -- Chad Watkins, music
Johns Creek -- Terri Cole, first grade
Mashburn -- Colleen Neubert, special education
Matt -- Lesa Barnett, special education
Midway -- Sarah Paradis, fourth grade
Sawnee -- Cira Feuerbach, English as a second language
Settles Bridge -- Katie Hicks, first grade
Sharon -- Brenda Parris, music
Shiloh Point -- Leslie Donahoo, second grade
Silver City -- Natalie Rickett, fourth grade
Vickery Creek -- Ashley Thompson, second grade
Whitlow -- Brenda Palmer, early intervention program
Lakeside -- Patti Grammens, eighth-grade science
Liberty -- Jason Gripe, sixth-grade social studies
Little Mill -- Cindy Evans, literacy
North -- Jennifer Crowder, special education
Otwell -- David Miller, sixth-grade social studies and math
Piney Grove -- Aly Brown, eighth-grade math
Riverwatch -- Janet Standeven, gifted eighth-grade science
South -- Jacquelynn Zatloukal, language arts
Vickery Creek -- Robyn McEntyre, language arts
Central -- Martha Tise, language arts
Lambert -- Natalie Kitchen, English
North -- Vanessa "Vee" Behler, English
South -- Tom Wolff, social studies
West -- Phillip Lyerly, physical education
Gateway Academy -- Marie Devine, language arts
Source: Forsyth County Schools
Some 30 instructors are working on essays explaining why they should be selected as Forsyth County’s teacher of the year.
“It’s so exciting,” said Judi Jenkins, business and community relations facilitator for the local system. “It’s just like picking up a new book each year.”
Candidates for the school system's teacher of the year must have at least two years of experience and must be full-time employees.
They also must be dedicated, inspirational and active in the community. Among other qualities, they must respect and admire students, parents and colleagues.
Each year, the system's top teacher is selected from among the honorees at each of the schools.
Jenkins, who coordinates the annual effort, made the announcements honoring the teachers.
“We go visit all 34 classrooms,” she said. “Even though it’s the same procedure, it’s a different bunch of people every year.
“It’s one of my favorite times of year.”
The district will name a teacher of the year at the elementary, middle and high school levels. From those three candidates, the systemwide teacher of the year will be chosen in late April.