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School system announces semifinalists for Forsyth's top teacher

At a glance

2015-16 Teacher of the Year semifinalists for Forsyth County Schools:


Elementary schools

* Brookwood: Michelle Reynaud

* Chattahoochee: Ingrid Bjornson

* Chestatee: Sharon Nizialek

* Cumming: Sheila McNeil

* Daves Creek: Jennifer Pineda

* Haw Creek: Lani Delallo

* Mashburn: Arlinda Porter

* Midway: Sheila Phillips

* Vickery Creek: Laurie Edwards

* Whitlow: Bethany McClurkan


Middle schools

* Liberty: Erin Tucker

* North Forsyth: Jessica Norsworthy

* Piney Grove: Rene Blackstone

* Riverwatch: Sarah Kirkley

* South Forsyth: Andrew Poor


High schools

* Forsyth Central: Angie Richards

* North Forsyth: Jay Glymph

* South Forsyth: Kevin Denney


Source: Forsyth County Schools

FORSYTH COUNTY — The best teachers in Forsyth County this school year have been narrowed to a round of semifinalists vying for a final designation that will be determined this spring.

Forsyth County Schools announced the 18 semifinalists, which is the last round before one will be named Teacher of the Year for each school level — elementary, middle and high.

“Our school district has the privilege of honoring one of our wonderful educators as the Teacher of the Year from each school every year,” said Hannah Orr, the system’s communications and partnerships facilitator.

“We are grateful to have the highest-caliber educators in our district and to have the opportunity to honor them for their incredible work each day for our students.”

Classroom teachers in pre-K through 12thgrade are eligible for the distinction. This includes special education, physical education, ITS, art and music teachers and media specialists.

Candidates must have two or more years of experience, “a full-time teaching position and spend the majority of their time teaching students in a classroom setting. Supervisory and administrative responsibilities should be of secondary consideration.”

All of the teachers honored, according to the district’s Teacher of the Year program:

* Plan to continue in active teaching status.

* Inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn.

* Possess the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues.

* Play an active and useful role in the community, as well as in the school.

* Are poised and articulate.

In February, one teacher from each school level will get surprise visits in his or her classroom to signify their becoming a finalist.

February also will include classroom observations of the finalists before the annual Celebration of Excellence ceremony on March 11, during which all school-level Teachers of the Year are honored and the Forsyth County Teacher of the Year is announced.

Each application is modeled after the Georgia Teacher of the Year application, Orr said, for which the countywide top teacher is considered.

Last year, Marlo Miranda, the automotive technology teacher at Forsyth Central High School, received the countywide recognition.

The program has been in Forsyth County consistently since 1990, though Cumming Elementary’s Edith Wright received the inaugural honor in 1976.