Teachers of the Year

Each year, the Columbia County School District honors those teachers who stand out amongst an already overflowing field of excellent educators. The year-long process culminates in an annual Teacher of the Year Banquet. Through contributions from our valued Partners in Education, each year we are able to shower all of our Teachers of the Year with a delicious dinner with their family and some amazing rewards for going above and beyond the call for excellence. This banquet is where we announce the winner from a group of Top 5 Finalists.

The process all starts in the classroom. Each of our 31 schools selects a teacher representative. Typically, schools select Teachers of the Quarter during the year and at the end of the year, they put those Teachers of the Quarter on a ballot and the teachers select the overall winner to represent their school in the running for the District Teacher of the Year. The Top 5 Finalists are announced at a Board of Education meeting.

Once the school level Teachers of the Year are selected, they complete an online application based on the Georgia state Teacher of the Year competition. A panel of judges score the applications electronically.

Next, we bring in three judges over the summer, who are educators themselves from outside our school district, to individually rate each of the 31 Teacher of the Year applications. We make sure the applications are anonymous so that there is no opportunity for bias. The judges score the applications on a 100 point scale. The top five scores are our Finalists and that information is held confidentially until the August Board of Education meeting where each school's Teacher of the Year is recognized and the Five finalists are announced.

Then using the same three outside judges, the five Finalists are each observed for 30 minutes in a classroom, followed by a 20-minute interview with the judges. All observations are done on the same day. Afterwards, the three judges decide who the top candidate is based on what they saw in the classroom and heard in the interview.

After the winner is announced at the Teacher of the Year banquet, they have until December to tweak their application to be entered in the competition for Georgia's State Teacher of the Year, which is announced in the Spring.

We are so proud of all of our Teachers of the Year across our district's history! If you are interested in becoming a Partner in Eduation to help support our efforts to reward and recognize success in our teachers, please contact (706) 541-2723 for more information. Or visit the Communications Department online.

our Title sponsors

Each year, Taylor BMW provides a free lease for a BMW for our District Teacher of the Year to drive all year.

m.b. jones oil, Inc.

Provides free gas voucher for our District Teacher of the Year!

ACHS Insurance

Provides free insurance coverage for our District Teacher of the Year!

Partners in Education sponsoring the the Teacher of the Year Banquet

Richard Poythress

Poythress & Associates

Columbia County School District Teachers of the Year:

A Tradition of Excellence

1990 – 1991 Tom Crow – Evans High School

1991 – 1992 Kathryn May – Blue Ridge Elementary School

1992 – 1993 Deborah Callan – Bel Air Elementary School

1993 – 1994 Gwen Connor – Evans Elementary School

1994 – 1995 Carol Shrout – Riverside Middle School

1995 – 1996 Cecelia Powell – North Columbia Elementary School

1996 – 1997 Change in Cycle at the State Level

1997 – 1998 Lanese Thomas – Martinez Elementary School

1998 – 1999 Debora Seymour – Greenbrier High School

1999 – 2000 – Elizabeth Trulove – Lakeside Middle School

2000 – 2001 Joyce Cheek – Harlem High School

2001 – 2002 Brian Campbell – Greenbrier High School

2002 – 2003 Lorraine Hall – Evans Middle School

2003 – 2004 Valery Dinkins – Harlem Middle School

2004 – 2005 Shaun Owen – Greenbrier Middle School

2005 – 2006 Leeann Fleischauer – Euchee Creek Elementary School

2006 – 2007 Penny Barclay – Grovetown Middle School

2007 – 2008 Danielle Callan – River Ridge Elementary School

2008 – 2009 Michele Rigsby – Bel Air Elementary School

2009 – 2010 Allison Palfy – Cedar Ridge Elementary School

2010 – 2011 Vicki Tarleton – Grovetown High School

2011 – 2012 Christy Van Meter – Riverside Middle School

2012 – 2013 – Katie Holmes – Baker Place Elementary School

2013 – 2014 Patty McDonald – Columbia Middle School

2014 – 2015 Kim Buchanan – Grovetown High School

2015 – 2016 Jenna Gurley – Westmont Elementary School

2016 – 2017 Eric Leiden – Evans High School

2017 – 2018 Andrea Short – Westmont Elementary School