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2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year Named

MEDIA CONTACTS: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358,


Keisha Ford-Jenrette, GaDOE Excellence Recognition, (404) 657-2949,

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May 16, 2014 – Amanda Miliner, a fourth grade teacher from Miller Elementary in Warner Robins, has been named the 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year. Ms. Miliner was named the winner of the award at the annual Georgia Teacher of the Year banquet held at the Georgia International Convention Center on Friday, May 16. As Georgia Teacher of the Year, Miliner will serve as an advocate for public education in Georgia.


“I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to Amanda Miliner, our 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year,” State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. “She has already changed lives in her classroom, and through this platform she will change the lives of many more children in Georgia as she acts as an advocate and a voice for educators and students.”


As the only child of a single mother who was active duty in the Air Force, Miliner found that many of her teachers became her extended family.  During the times her mother was on extended duty, Miliner depended on her school relationships, especially her teachers. She points to those relationships as part of the reason she was the first person in her family to graduate from college.


While volunteering for a Big Brother and Big Sister program during college, Miliner decided to change her major to Early Childhood Education. After serving as Miss Georgia in 2006, Miliner spent a year traveling and working in the entertainment industry.  But she realized she needed to go back to her dreams of being an educator, where she felt most fulfilled in life.  Within a few weeks she obtained a teaching position.


As host teacher for a Math Early Intervention Program (EIP) class, Miliner’s class has had a 100 percent pass rate for the Math portion of the CRCT for several years. In her application, Miliner stated, “As great as these accomplishments are they are not what I’m most proud of. I am most proud of the fact that I can stand before my students as an example of what hard work and determination can do. I also am proud to stand before my peers as a proud educator who is blessed to work in a profession where each day is meaningful and relevant.”


As Georgia Teacher of the Year, Miliner will represent Georgia teachers by speaking to the public about the teaching profession and possibly conducting workshops and programs for educators. She will also compete for the 2015 National Teacher of the Year.

The Georgia Teacher of the Year Program is sponsored by United Healthcare.


2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists (in alphabetical order by district)
Teacher, Subject, System, School

Rita L. Simmons, Gifted K-5

Atlanta Public Schools, Cleveland Avenue Elementary

Rhonda Lokey,  Sixth Grade Social Studies
Cobb County, Campbell Middle

Dr. Lyn Schenbeck, Film/Video Music, Business in Arts, Music in Medicine, String and Vocals
Coweta County, Central Educational Center

Michelle Peace, Spanish I, II, III

Early County, Early County High

Sarah Ballew Welch, English, Oral/Written Communications and British Literature
Fannin County, Fannin County High

Nick C. Crowder, Engineering Education

Forsyth County, South Forsyth High

Hyunjin Son, Physics and Foundations of Engineering & Technology
Gwinnett County, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology

Paul D. Mixon, Journalism and Economics (Runner-up)
Heard County, Heard County High

Amanda Miliner, Fourth Grade
Houston County, Miller Elementary

Marc Pedersen, Biology, Biotechnology and Chemistry

Paulding County, Paulding County High

The Georgia Teacher of the Year Program is sponsored by United Healthcare.​