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 Georgia Teacher of the Year Program


​​​Congratulations Holly Witcher, 2025 Georgia Teacher of the Year! 

Read the press release and learn about Holly here​. 

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.​

District Coordinator's Guide ​​

2025 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 CohortDistrict TOTY SelectionDistrict TOTY ​ Service Term
Apply for GaTOTY

Service Term
2024 DTOTY
Spring 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 2024 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 2024 District Teachers of the Year are those completing their district's term of service during the 2023-2024 school year. This cohort is eligible to apply for the 2025 Georgia Teacher of the Year in Fall 2023 if all qualifications​ have been met.​ 

Announce your 2024 District Teacher of the Year here:​ ​​​​​Announcement Form​

​Georgia Teacher of the Year Annual Timeline​

The GaTOTY application window opens in September and closes in November. District Teachers of the Year serving in the application window's school year are eligible to apply for the following year’s Georgia Teacher of the Year, if all program qualifications are met. 


District Teachers of the Year Selected

Spring or Early F​all

Georgia Teacher of Year Application Window Opens 


Georgia Teacher of Year Application Window Closes 


Application Review Period 

December – February

Georgia Teacher of Year Finalists Announced  


Georgia Teacher of Year Finalist Interviews ​​


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

May or June

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

​​​Arlecia Brooks
Excellence Recognition Specialist

Meghan Frick​,

 District TOTY Coordinators

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


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 
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 Arlecia Brooks
205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE
2062 Twin Towers East
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

 2025 Georgia Teacher of the Year

​​​​Holly Witcher

2025 Georgia Teacher of the Year
Press R​​elease​​
Facebook: GATeacher​

Event Requests 

 Georgia Teacher of the Year Application

​​2025 Georg​ia Te​​acher of the Year Application​

2025 GaTOTY application window: Friday, September 1 - Friday, November 17 at 11:59 p.m.  ​​​

Guidance for candidates completing the 2025 GaTOTY application.

2025 GaTOTY Application Signature Form​

Download, obtain all required signatures, and upload to application.

 Georgia Teachers of the Year Association