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 Georgia Teacher of the Year Program


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​​​Program Goals

The GaTOTY program strives to promote and retain quality teachers and focuses on three program goals:  

  1. Elevate the teaching profession by recognizing, celebrating, and
    providing unique 
    and innovative learning experiences for highly accomplished teachers. 
  2. Amplify teacher voice to advance student learning and champion
    student success. 
  3. Expose teachers to relevant policy topics and develop the context
    for teacher leaders
    hip. ​


About the Program​

The GaTOTY serves as an ambassador for education, traveling the state speaking to educators and community groups. The GaTOTY competes in the National Teacher of the Year Program, representing Georgia at national conferences with other State Teachers of the Year. 

All local education agency (LEA) superintendents are responsible for selecting the local system Teacher of the Year, but may appoint a person to oversee this project and an outside committee to interview, observe, and select the system’s representative. The questions asked in the Georgia TOTY Application parallel the questions for the CCSSO National Teacher of the Year (NTOY)​ program. It is suggested that participating systems use the same narrative response questions contained in the Georgia application when conducting the selection process within their systems. ​Local system superintendents may nominate a representative to participate in the selection process for Georgia Teacher of the Year. ​


Georgia Teacher of the Year Qualifications

The Georgia Teacher of the Year candidate has the respect and admiration of their colleagues and must possess the following attributes:  

  1. A certified public school classroom teacher with a valid and current Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) Professional or Advanced/
    Lead Professional certificate in prekindergarten through Grade 12. Special education, physical education, art, music, and ROTC are eligible, along with media specialists.*

  2. Full-time, with a minimum of three (3) years of classroom teaching experience.  

  3. Is an exceptional, dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teacher planning to
    con​tinue in active teaching status**.

  1. Is an expert in the field who advances growth for students of all backgrounds
    and abilities. 

  1. Builds collaborative relationships with colleagues, students, and families to
    create a school culture of success.  

  1. Plays an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school. 

  1. Deliberately connects the classroom to community to impact student growth
    and learning.  

  1. As a lifelong learner and teacher leader, utilizes innovation to create learning experiences within and beyond the classroom. 

  2. Expresses themselves in an engaging and clear way, conveying the classroom experience to a variety of audiences. 

​​​​*Counselors and Speech Pathologists are not eligible for the state or national programs.

**Active teaching status is defined as spending at least 50% of contract time teaching students in a classroom setting through the term of the GaTOTY. Supervisory responsibilities should be of secondary consideration.​


​​​New District Coordinator's Guide 

2024 GaTOTY District Coordinator's Guide

It is the desire of the Georgia Teacher of the Year program to encourage a consistent selection process in every school district. The Georgia Department of Education does not have a state-mandated deadline for districts to select their local teacher of the year. It is recommended that districts choose their representative in the spring semester, having that DTOTY serve their district term during the fiscal year from July 1- June 30 to align with the state and national timeline. This process will provide the nominee ample time to prepare their state application portfolio. Refer to the District Coordinator's Guide above for further program guidance.​​​

DTOTY CohortLEA DTOTY SelectionDistrict TOTY ​ Service Term
Apply for GaTOTYGaTOTY Title
& Service Term
​2023 DTOTY
​Spring 2022
​July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023
​Fall 2022
​2024 GaTOTY:
July 1, 2023-
June 30, 2024
2024 DTOTYSpring 2023July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024Fall 2023
2025 GaTOTY:
July 1, 2024-
June 30, 2025
2025 DTOTYSpring 2024July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025Fall 20242026 GaTOTY:
July 1, 2025-
June 30, 2026
2026 DTOTYSpring 2025July 1, 2025-June 30, 2026Fall 20252027 GaTOTY:
July 1, 2026-
June 30, 2027​


​​​Coordinators: Announce Your 202​3 District Teacher of the Year!

The state program would like to welcome and congratulate each District Teacher of the Year as they are named. The 2023 District Teachers of the Year are eligible to apply for the 2024 Georgia Teacher of the Year if all qualifications​ have been met.​ 

Announce your 2023 District Teacher of the Year here:​ ​​​​​Announcement Form


​Georgia Teacher of the Year Annual Timeline​

The GaTOTY application window opens in late September and closes in early December. This timeline will be adjusted beginning Fall 2023. District Teachers of the Year serving in the current school year are eligible to apply for the following year’s Georgia Teacher of the Year, if all program qualifications are met. 

​​Event
​Timeline

District Teachers of the Year Selected

Spring or Early F​all

Georgia Teacher of Year Application Window Opens 

Late September

Georgia Teacher of Year Application Window Closes 

Early December​
(Late October​beginning Fall 2023 )

Application Review Period 

December – February

Georgia Teacher of Year Finalists Announced  

March

Georgia Teacher of Year Finalist Interviews ​​

March or April

Georgia Teacher of Year Conference and Gala; New Georgia Teacher of Year Announced 

April or May

Georgia Teacher of Year Term of Service Begins 

July 1

Georgia Teacher of Year Term of Service Ends 

June 30​


Follow the Georgia Teacher of the Year on Facebook.

​​​​​​

 Contact Information

Dawn Ashmore
Program Manager
Email: Dashmore@doe.k12.ga.us​
Phone: (678) 372-0791

 LEA TOTY Coordinators

Are you a District Coordina​tor for the Teacher of the Year Program? 
Please complete this ​​District Coordinator's Contact Form​

 Sponsorship

Are you interested in supporting the Georgia Teacher of the Year program? 

Tax deductible donations can be made through our secure server at the 
Georgia Foundation for Public Education 
at https://gfpe.org/donate
Be sure to designate your donation to the Georgia Teacher of the Year Program.

Would you rather donate through check?
Make checks payable to the
Foundation for Public Education
and be sure to write
Georgia Teacher of the Year Program
in the memo. 

Mailing Address:
Georgia Department of Education
c/o Dawn Ashmore
205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE
2062 Twin Towers East
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

 2023 Georgia Teacher of the Year

Michael Kobito, 2023 Georgia Teacher of the Year






Michael Kobito

2023 Georgia Teacher of the Year
Press R​elease​Email: Michael.Kobito@doe.k12.ga.us
Phone: (678) 378-0388​

Twitter:@2023GaTOTY​
Facebook: GATeacher​

Event Requests 

Organizations requesting an 
appearance by our Georgia Teacher of the Year at events scheduled between July1-June 30 can submit a request here: 2023 G​aTOTY Ev​ent Reques​t​

 Georgia Teacher of the Year Application

2024 Georg​ia Te​​acher of the Year Application
The application window for the 2024 Georgia Teacher of the Year will open in September 2022.