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2019 Georgia Teacher of the Year finalists announced

MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office, 404-463-4246,

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April 17, 2018 – State School Superintendent Richard Woods today announced the 10 finalists for 2019 Georgia Teacher of the Year.

The finalists were chosen from a pool of 150 applicants; all had been previously selected as their school district’s Teacher of the Year. 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.

“It will certainly be a difficult decision for our panel of judges to choose who should be the 2019 Teacher of the Year," Superintendent Woods said. "It is evident upon meeting each finalist that they treat education as more than just a profession -- it is their calling. It is my honor to meet each of them as they all are obviously dedicated, quality educators."

Finalists met with a panel of judges for a formal interview and gave speeches during a finalist luncheon April 16. The winner will be announced May 19, 2018.

The 2019 Georgia Teacher of the Year will travel around the state and the nation, serving as an ambassador for the teaching profession in Georgia. He or she will also be entered in the National Teacher of the Year competition. 

The 2018 Georgia Teacher of the Year is Mr. John R. Tibbetts, an economics teacher at Worth County High School in Worth County Schools.

Click here to learn more about the Georgia Teacher of the Year program.

2019 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists*

Shaylen Dixon, third grade, Peachtree City Elementary School, Fayette County Schools

Dr. Doug Doblar, fourth and fifth grade mathematics and science, R.D. Head Elementary School, Gwinnett County Schools

Allison Kerley, third grade, Barnwell Elementary School, Fulton County Schools

Dr. Stefan Lawrence, English, George Washington Carver High School, Muscogee County Schools

Nancy Rogers, English, Thomas County Middle School, Thomas County Schools

Maleah Stewart, speech-language pathologist, North Forsyth Middle School, Forsyth County Schools

Ike Thompson, English/gifted, Veterans High School, Houston County Schools

Melanie Thompson, science, Georgia Academy for the Blind, State Schools

Stephanie Vidrine, mathematics, Woodstock Middle School, Cherokee County Schools

Kayla Yeargin, mathematics, Troup High School, Troup County Schools

*Finalists are listed in alphabetical order by last name