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John Garner named 2022 History Teacher of the Year for Georgia

MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office,  
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November 10, 2022 – The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History recognized John Garner, Ed.S., a teacher at Temple High School, Carroll County Schools, as the 2022 History Teacher of the Year for Georgia. This award is presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, an organization dedicated to K-12 American history education, with the state winner selected by the Georgia Department of Education. 

“We congratulate John Garner for this recognition and celebrate his accomplishments," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “It is crucially important for Georgia students to receive a quality history education that prepares them to participate meaningfully in civic life. That's exactly what Mr. Garner provides for his students." 

Garner is a middle and high school social studies teacher who is extremely passionate about his discipline. He currently teaches Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography, AP United States History, and United States History. Garner earned a Bachelor of Arts in History, a Masters in Education with a concentration in social studies, and a specialist in secondary education and history from the University of West Georgia. 

Garner is an active member of the social studies community. He has led history clubs for the past 13 years and participated in and led history-based academic competitions all over the country and the world. Garner seeks to bring history alive in his classroom with guest speakers, field trips, and interactive activities that make history relevant for his students.  

“Mr. Garner truly makes history come alive by connecting students with primary sources in the form of speakers [who] 'lived' events of history," Temple High School Principal Timothy Gribben said. “Throughout the year, our students have had opportunities to hear from Freedom Riders Charles Person, Joan Browning, and William Zwerg. Additionally, Dick Wolf, a World War II veteran on the USS Indianapolis, participated in a question-and-answer session with our students. They also had the opportunity to hear from Will Jimena, who was at ground zero when the Twin Towers fell on 9/11. Mr. Garner's passion shows through all he does."  

In addition to a $1,000 honorarium, Garner received a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials, recognition at a local ceremony in his honor, and became one of 53 finalists for the 2022 National History Teacher of the Year Award. The winner of this year's National History Teacher of the Year Award was announced in October 2022. Learn more here.  

“Knowledgeable and impassioned teachers bring our country's history to life for students, allowing them to understand engaging with history is about more than a series of facts," said James G. Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “Teachers are the lifeblood of our student education, and these are the best of the best." 

Nominations for the 2023 History Teacher of the Year awards are now open. Students, parents, colleagues, and supervisors may nominate K-12 teachers for the award by visiting The deadline for 2023 nominations is April 30, 2023.  ​