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Statesboro Educator Named 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year

MEDIA CONTACT: MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358, mcardoza@gadoe.org or Keisha Ford-Jenrette, kford@gadoe.org (404) 657-2949

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May 3, 2013 – Jemelleh Coes, a Special Education English Language Arts and Reading teacher from Langston Chapel Middle School in Statesboro, has been named the 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year. Ms. Coes was named the winner of the award at the annual Georgia Teacher of the Year banquet held Friday night at the Georgia International Convention Center. As Georgia Teacher of the Year, Ms. Coes will serve as an advocate for public education in Georgia.
 
"Jemelleh Coes is going to be a wonderful representative of the teaching profession in Georgia," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “As the daughter of immigrants from Guyana, Ms. Coes worked hard to become a teacher and make a difference in the life of a child. Now she will have the opportunity to share her story and passion with many others.”
 
Driven by wanting a career that would help others, Ms. Coes became a teacher at Langston Chapel Middle School after graduating from Georgia Southern University. She has spent her entire career at Langston Chapel and is currently teaching English Language Arts, Resource Language Arts and Remediation English Language Arts.
 
In her application, Ms.Coes stated, "You have a choice. Choose wisely. This is one of the most important lessons that I hope to instill in the life of every student that I come in contact with. When teaching students, it is important that lessons are choice-driven, authentically student-centered, and goal-oriented.”
 
Ms. Coes chairs and facilitates a program called Delta Academy, which fosters a love of science, technology, engineering and math for middle school girls in Southeast Georgia. She is a mentor at a group home for homeless girls in Bulloch County. Ms. Coes is also involved with Kiwanis and Toastmasters. Once a month, Ms. Coes leads scrapbooking projects with children in the local community who have never been exposed and don’t have the means to create crafting projects.
 
As Georgia Teacher of the Year, Ms. Coes will represent Georgia teachers by speaking to the public about the teaching profession and possibly conducting workshops and programs for educators. She will also compete for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year.
 
The Georgia Teacher of the Year Program is sponsored by United Healthcare.
 
2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists (in alphabetical order by district)
Teacher, Subject, System, School
 
Tamika N. Ball, Mathematics
Atlanta Public Schools, D.M. Therrell School of Health Sciences and Research
Brandon A. Mitchell, Physical and Environmental Science
Barrow County, Winder-Barrow High
Terrie L. Ponder, Social Studies
Carrollton City, Carrollton Junior High
Jeanine Wetherington, Gifted K-5
Colquitt County, Norman Park Elementary
Shannon Pollitz, Eighth Grade Gifted English Language Arts
Floyd County, Pepperell Middle
Barbara Rosolino, English Language Arts, AP Literature and Composition
Henry County, Eagle’s Landing High
David DuBose, Advanced Music, Band and Instrumental Music
Marietta City, Marietta High (Runner-up)
Dr. Polly S. Holder, Spanish
Walton County, Walnut Grove High
Tanya Smith, Physical Science and Gifted/Accelerated Chemistry
Wayne County, Wayne County High