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Leanne Maule from Cartersville High School Selected as 2009 Georgia Teacher of the Year

 MEDIA CONTACT : GaDOE Communications office, (404) 463-1487,     May 9, 2008 -- Leanne Maule, an English teacher from Cartersville High School, was named the 2009 Georgia Teacher of the Year Friday night.    Her selection was announced by State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox at the Georgia Teacher of the Year banquet held Friday night at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.    "Congratulations to Leanne Maule and her colleagues at Cartersville High School," Superintendent Cox said. "Leanne is creative, has a passion for education and a heart for the struggling learner. She is an excellent choice for Georgia Teacher of the Year."    As the state Teacher of the Year, Ms. Maule will spend the 2008-2009 school year on special assignment, serving as an ambassador and advocate for the teaching profession. She will give presentations to other educators, as well as business and community leaders, and represent Georgia teachers at state and national conferences. She will also be Georgia's entry in the 2009 National Teacher of the Year competition.    Ms. Maule was one of ten finalists, who were chosen from a pool of over 140 district-level teachers of the year that applied for the state honor. The ten finalists were observed in the classroom and interviewed by a team of judges and then gave a speech during a luncheon held at Georgia Power Co. in March.    "I know this was a very difficult choice for the judges," Superintendent Cox said. "Any of the ten finalists would have done a wonderful job as Georgia Teacher of the Year."    ABOUT LEANNE MAULE     A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Ms. Maule began teaching in 1991 in Goose Creek, S.C. She came to Cartersville in 2000 and joined Cartersville High School in 2002.    In her application, Ms. Maule said her own experience as someone who struggled in school motivated her to become a teacher.    "I made a vow to myself that I would strive to become the high school teacher ... who saw every child's potential," she wrote. "My students know that I genuinely have their best interests at heart."    Ms. Maule's classroom is creative and interactive. She incorporates the arts into almost every lesson, including the creation of a Renaissance Festival, a Shakespearian puppet show and dramatic interpretations of poetry. She believes that high school lessons should be fun and exciting. Her students agree.    One of her former students wrote of Ms. Maule: "I will never forget, as long as I live, her inspiration and the enthusiasm I always see in her everytime I open her door."    GIFTS AND SPONSORS     The Georgia Teacher of the Year banquet, and other recognition events run by the Georgia Department of Education, rely almost completely on donations from sponsors. Superintendent Cox and the GaDOE's Recognitions Program wish to thank the sponsors who made this year's event possible:    - Platinum Sponsors: Washington Mutual, AirTran Airways, Intel, Lenovo, SMARTer Kids Foundation    - Gold Sponsors: Blue Bell Creameries, L.P., Georgia Power Co., The Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE), The Coca Cola Co.    - Silver Sponsor: Georgia Association of Educators (GAE)    - Bronze Sponsors: Keith Plaques, Shaw Industries, The School Box    - Copper Sponsors: Chick-fil-A, Nystrom, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Rick Shrewsbury, The Kroger Company     From L-R: Jaybez Floyd, principal of Cartersville High School where Leanne Maule teaches; 2009 Georgia Teacher of the Year Leanne Maule; State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox.