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2009 Teacher of the Year Finalists Named

 MEDIA CONTACT:  - Susan Ely, Excellence Recognition Manager, (404) 656-5594,  sely@gadoe.org   -  NOTE:  Media wishing to speak to the finalists should follow the media protocol of the school district in which they work.   February 14, 2008 -- State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox announced the 10 finalists for 2009 Georgia Teacher of the Year at today's State Board of Education Meeting.   The finalists were chosen from a pool of 141 applicants that were selected as the Teachers of the Year in their school districts. The applications were read by a panel of judges that included teachers -- including past Georgia winners and finalists -- administrators, community leaders and others. The 10 finalists were chosen based on the scores of the essays on their applications.   "I want to offer my sincere congratulations to each of the finalists. I know that any one of them would make an excellent Georgia teacher of the year," said Superintendent Cox. "I'd also like to congratulate all of the district-level teachers of the year. Each of them is a shining star in their community and around the state."   Over the next month, a panel of judges will observe and interview each of the finalists at their schools. The winner will be announced at the Georgia Teacher of the Year Banquet on May 9, 2008 at the Georgia Aquarium.   The 2009 Georgia Teacher of the Year will spend next school year traveling around the state and the nation, serving as an ambassador for the teaching profession. The winner will also be entered in the National Teacher of the Year competition. All finalists will serve on Superintendent Cox's Teacher Advisory Council.   The 2008 Georgia Teacher of the Year is  Ms. Emily Jennette , of Marietta, a teacher at Sawyer Road Elementary School.   You can learn more about Ms. Jennette and the Georgia Teacher of the Year program  on our website .    MORE INFO:   -  H ear Superintendent Cox make the finalist announcement  -  Georgia Teacher of the Year Website    2009 GEORGIA TEACHER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS   (Name, School, District) (Subject taught)     Leanne Maule, Cartersville High School, Cartersville City English, Language Arts, British Literature    Clay Hildebrand, Smokey Road Middle School, Coweta County 6th Grade Math & Literature    Gina Coss, Sedalia Park Charter Elementary School, Cobb County 5th grade, Early Intervention Program    Christopher Spraggins, Columbus High School, Muscogee County Honors Chemistry, AP Biology, Physics    Aletha Snowberger, Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, Richmond County AP World History    Daniel Petritz, Conyers Middle School, Rockdale County Science    Tracy Wilson, Americus-Sumter County High School, Sumter County Special Education    David Curtis, Callaway High School, Troup County AP Physics, Chemistry, Biology    Dwight Stafford, Performance Learning Center, Walton County Business Education and Information Technology    Stephanie Shelton, Washington County High School, Washington County English/Latin  EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to technical issues, some pictures may not show up.