Michael Kobito, an AP Music Theory teacher and high school band director at Woodland High School in the Bartow County School System, is the 2023 Georgia Teacher of the Year. State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced the selection of Kobito at a banquet held tonight in LaGrange to celebrate all district Teachers of the Year.
“Michael Kobito is an outstanding educator who exemplifies both student-centered decision-making and the role of the fine arts in providing a world-class education to students," Superintendent Woods said. “I'm proud to recognize him as the 2023 Georgia Teacher of the Year, and look forward to working with him to elevate the teaching profession and advocate for Georgia's public schools."
As Director of Bands at Woodland High School, Kobito oversees and manages four concert bands, a 200-member marching band, a basketball pep band, a private lessons institute, jazz band, and winter guard. Under his direction, the marching band has been invited to march in the National Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, D.C. and the London New Year's Day Parade in 2023.
Kobito also teaches AP Music Theory at Woodland High School; after his first year teaching the course, he had a 100 percent test participation rate and a 100 pass rate on the AP exam.
From the first day students enter the band room, Kobito encourages them to strive for excellence, and to view every day as “an opportunity, not an obstacle, to reaching their potential."
“We teach in a world that forces kids to be comparative to the point of detriment, whether it be through social media, online entertainment, or other factors that increase the level of scrutiny for what would usually be considered missteps," Kobito wrote in his Georgia Teacher of the Year application. “Many of the students in our classes are afraid to try because they feel they aren't as smart or skilled as their peers. In my classroom, from the very start, I reinforce our classroom philosophy: every student's contribution is important, and every student can learn."
Kobito is a graduate of the University of Georgia, and is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at Georgia College and State University.
As Georgia Teacher of the Year, Kobito will serve as an advocate for public education in Georgia, speaking to the public about the teaching profession and serving as an ex-officio member of the State Board of Education. He will also participate in the competitive selection process for the 2023 National Teacher of the Year.