Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Kelly Gardner named Georgia Virtual School Teacher of the Year

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

-Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram


October 26, 2015English instructor Kelly Gardner was named the 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year for Georgia Virtual School (GaVS) on Saturday, at GaVS’ tenth-anniversary professional learning symposium.

Kelly Gardner GAVS TOTY.jpg


A program of the Georgia Department of Education, GaVS operates in partnership with schools and parents to offer middle- and high-school-level courses across the state through a teacher-led, virtual classroom environment.


Gardner holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in secondary English education, and has thirteen years of teaching experience in the face-to-face classroom and online. She has taught a wide variety of English courses for GaVS since 2007, and has been a content developer for English courses, a mentor for new teachers, a co-coordinator of the English department, and a frequent professional development presenter. She has earned the distinction of Master Teacher and recently reached the benchmark of teaching more than 2,000 student segments through GaVS.


“Teaching online is a truly rewarding experience,” Gardner said. “I’ve been able to reach beyond the four walls of a classroom and teach such a wide variety of students. Online learning provides access to high-quality education for students of all abilities and backgrounds, and being a part of that learning experience for students is so exciting.”


At the Fall 2015 Professional Learning Symposium, which was attended by more than 240 faculty and staff members from GaVS, State School Superintendent Richard Woods honored Gardner and the four GaVS Teacher of the Year finalists: Lindy Crace, Angie Aufderheide, David Alexander and Erin Hall.


“Georgia Virtual School gives Georgia students an opportunity to take courses they might never have access to otherwise, through an innovative virtual platform,” Superintendent Woods said. “I commend the educators working to provide these high-quality courses to Georgia’s students, especially Kelly Gardner, whose teaching has impacted hundreds of students.”  


Jeremy Spencer, Associate Superintendent of Virtual Instruction, added: “Kelly is a fantastic online teacher, and she deserves this accolade. Kelly, along with our GaVS TOTY finalists, takes advantage of the quality embedded professional development that allow our teachers to innovate in creative ways. This recognition is also a testament of the quality work of our instructional leaders at GAVS. Kelly's greatest asset is that she is always willing to improve her craft and that makes her a quality professional.”


Georgia Virtual School is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. In that time, the program has provided options and opportunities to more than 100,000 students for course credit, and more than 70,000 credit recovery units have been earned. Through the GaVS course creation process, more than 100 courses meeting the state-adopted content standards are available online for student, teacher, and parent use.


Learn more about Georgia Virtual School at​