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School system announces semifinalists for teacher of the year
Forsyth County Schools

Forsyth County Schools has announced semifinalists for teacher of the year.

In total, 20 teachers were recognized from the elementary, middle and high school levels of Forsyth County Schools.

“We congratulate our semi-finalists who will continue to the next round for interviews,” said Jennifer Caracciolo, director of public information and communications for Forsyth County Schools. 

The semifinalists for Forsyth County Teacher of the Year are as follows:

Elementary schools

Megan Bass, Big Creek Elementary; Katie Bennett, Brandywine Elementary; Julie Hubbard, Chestatee Elementary; Vicky Creighton, Daves Creek Elementary; Kim Arant, Haw Creek Elementary; Sandy Lippe, Midway Elementary; Erin Martin, Settles Bridge Elementary; Jessica Wutz, Sharon Elementary; Becky Morris, Shiloh Point Elementary; Tiffany Mello, Vickery Creek Elementary; and Jackie Crumpton, Whitlow Elementary.

Middle schools 

Lisa Arends, Desana Middle; Julie Stephens, Lakeside Middle; Sherrie O’Hara, Liberty Middle; Natalie Pass, Otwell Middle; Ward Prather, Riverwatch Middle; and Mary Cartenuto, Vickery Creek Middle.

High schools 

Janet Standeven, Lambert High; Jonas Strecker, South Forsyth High; and Kathy Evans, West Forsyth High. 


According to Forsyth County Schools’ website, candidates should be “exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teacher(s),” and each candidate should be “poised and articulate” and “inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn … possesses the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues … and play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school.”

According to Hannah Orr Samples, communications and partnerships facilitator for Forsyth County Schools, the teacher of the year selection process is done in a series of rounds that begin with each school picking its respective teacher of the year. 

Each school’s chosen teacher then submits an application and essay to Forsyth County Schools for review and scoring. The teachers with the highest scores on the essay portion will then be interviewed and observed teaching in the classroom. 

“Following the observations, the candidates will be evaluated on all three scores (application, interview and observation),” Samples said.

She went on to say that the 2018 Forsyth County Teacher of the Year will be announced at a Celebration of Excellence on March 9, 2018, and will then be eligible for the Georgia Teacher of the Year Program. 

“In Forsyth County Schools, we are grateful to have incredible teachers throughout the entire district,” Samples said. “It is an honor each year for our schools, district and community to have the opportunity to name teachers of the year that are a wonderful representation of the hardworking, dedicated teachers we have in our district.”