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