Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

2010 Teacher of the Year Finalists Named

Media Contact - Susan Ely, Recognitions Manager, (404) 657-2949,    February 9, 2009  -- State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox announced the finalists for 2010 Georgia Teacher of the Year (GTOY) today.   The 10 finalists were chosen from a pool of 147 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, past GTOY winners and finalists, administrators, community leaders and others. The finalists were chosen based on the strength of their essay responses.   "I am confident that any of these ten outstanding educators would make a terrific 2010 Georgia Teacher of the Year," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "Congratulations to the finalists and to all those who applied for consideration. I know it was very difficult to choose just 10 finalists from this strong group of applications."   Over the next several weeks, a panel of judges will observe and interview each of the finalists at their schools. The finalists will also give a speech at a luncheon sponsored by Georgia Power on March 23. The winner will be announced at the Georgia Teacher of the Year Banquet on May 15, 2009. The banquet, which is paid for through donations from sponsors, will be held at the Georgia Aquarium. A reception hosted by Verizon Wireless will be held prior to the banquet.  The 2010 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 2009 Georgia Teacher of the Year is Ms. Leanne Maule, of Cartersville, a teacher at Cartersville High School. To learn about Ms. Maule and the Teacher of the Year program, visit    2010 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists   Teacher, School, System, Subject    - Tiffany Todd, Southeast Bulloch High School, Bulloch County, U.S. History and Drama  - Mark Lang, Camden Middle School, Camden County, Life Science  - Gwen Desselle, Colquitt County High School, Colquitt County, Social Studies  - Michele Rigsby, BelAir Elementary School, Columbia County, 4th grade  - Suzy Besson-Martilotta, Chattahoochee Elementary School, Forsyth County, 1st grade  - Merrill Boynton-Cheyne, Harris County, Carver Middle School, Harris County, Drama, Reading, Journalism  - Sandy Akin, East Jackson Comprehensive High School, Jackson County, Mathematics  - Krista Pearson, Lowndes High School, Lowndes County, Mathematics  - Kathie Wood, Marietta Middle School, Marietta City, Language Arts  - Jennifer Beckum Irvin, Toombs County High School, Toombs County, 10th Grade Literature and Drama