By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Teacher of the Year 2015: 
Local educators honored as schools select Teachers of the Year

The first step of the district¹s search for its 2015 Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) Teacher of the Year (TOTY) is complete and 131 local school Teachers of the Year have been designated as tops in their schools.

³Fall is without a doubt one of our favorite times of the year,² says Dr. Nikki Mouton, executive director of  curriculum and Instruction. ³It marks the beginning of the school year and the time when we recognize the best teachers in the businessŠ our local teachers of the year. These teachers model day in and day out what it means to be an effective teacher as they give their time, energy, and commitment to their students. As a school district, we are honored that they are OUR teachers and that we can recognize their dedication to students, to the profession, and to public education.²

Every year, the school system honors the passion and commitment of its teachers during the annual Teacher of the Year recognition process that takes place each fall. These 131 local school honorees will move into the next phase of the TOTY process as they are considered for the systemwide honor. Later this month, this group will be  narrowed down to 25 semifinalists. From that group, six finalists will be chosen in mid-October. The annual Teacher of the Year banquet and the announcement of this year¹s top teacher in Gwinnett County will be held on Tuesday, November 11, 2014.

Here’s an overview of the selection process:
Step 1 -- All teachers at each participating Gwinnett school nominate and vote for their local school Teacher of the Year.
Step 2 -- The applications for all 131 school-level Teachers of the Year are screened and 25 semifinalists for the county-level are selected.
Step 3 -- The 25 semifinalists¹ applications are scored to determine the six finalists.
Step 4 -- A selection committee-- made up of teachers, central office personnel, and administrators-- visits the classrooms of the six finalists and conducts thorough interviews with each educator. The committee looks for original teaching methods, studies the educator¹s teaching philosophy, considers the influence the teacher has had on the teaching practices of his/her colleagues, and reviews any special class projects the teacher has initiated.
Step 5 -- From the six finalists, the committee will select a Teacher of the Year for each level-- elementary, middle, and high. One of the level winners will be recognized as GCPS¹ 2015 Teacher of the Year.