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​2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists Announced

MEDIA CONTACTS: Matt Cardoza,, (404) 651-7358 or Keisha Ford-Jenrette, (404) 657-2949

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April 13, 2015 – State School Superintendent Richard Woods today announced the finalists for 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year.


The 10 finalists were chosen from a pool of 151 applicants who were selected as the Teacher of the Year in their school districts. The applications were read by a panel of judges that included teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners and finalists, administrators, community leaders and others. The finalists were chosen based on the strength of their essay responses.


"I congratulate these 10 finalists for 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year,” said Superintendent Woods. "I’m looking forward to working with this extraordinary group of teachers to ensure our policies are child-focused and classroom-centered."


Over the next several weeks, a panel of judges will conduct video observations and interview each of the finalists. This week, finalists will also give a speech at a luncheon sponsored by Georgia Power. The winner will be announced at the Georgia Teacher of the Year conference during the luncheon on May 8, 2015, in the Floyd Room at the James H. “Sloppy” Floyd Veterans Memorial Building. The conference, which is paid for through donations from sponsors, will honor each local district Teacher of the Year.


The 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year will travel 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.


The 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Amanda Miliner, a fourth grade teacher, from Miller Elementary in Warner Robins.


To learn more about the Teacher of the Year program, click here.  


2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists (in alphabetical order by district)

Teacher, Subject, System, School


Brian David Butler, Science

Bibb County, Rutland High


Patrick Logan, First Grade

Buford City, Buford Elementary


Alexandra Vlachakis, Information Technology

Fayette County, Sandy Creek High


John Wood, Art

Henry County, Luella High


Holly Canup, Media Resource Specialist/Online Instructor

Jackson County, East Jackson Comprehensive High


Brian Patrick, English/Literature

Jasper County, Jasper County High


Kimberly Lester, Writing/Language Arts

Muscogee County, St. Elmo Center for the Gifted


Gary Allen Jones, II, Gifted

Rome City, East Central Elementary


Ernest William Lee II, IB History, US Government and Civics

Savannah-Chatham County, Winsor Forest High


Blair Inabinet, Georgia Studies

Walton County, Youth Middle​