A teacher who as a child once beat a learning disability was named the 2012 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year (TOTY). During the annual celebration of the district”s greatest asset, its teachers, CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks announced Jennifer Dunn, a 5th grade teacher at Pharr Elementary, as the districtwide honoree. In all, Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) recognized 129 Teachers of the Year who were named by their colleagues at their local schools. The annual event to honor Gwinnett”s educators took place during the Teacher of the Year banquet on Thursday, November 3, at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth.
In addition to earning the school system”s top honor, Jennifer Dunn was named the 2012 Gwinnett County Elementary School Teacher of the Year. She was selected as Gwinnett”s top teacher from a group of six finalists which included one other elementary school teacher, two middle school finalists, and two teachers at the high school level. From the two middle school finalists, Sarah Black of North Gwinnett Middle was named the system”s 2012 Middle School Teacher of the Year, while the 2012 High School Teacher of the Year honor was presented to Aundrea Muth of Mill Creek High.
As Gwinnett”s top-honored educator, Mrs. Dunn represents the best of Gwinnett”s 11,000 teachers. The selection process for the Teacher of the Year honor began with the naming of 129 local school Teachers of the Year. A selection committee later narrowed down the group to 25 semifinalists, and finally to the six finalists. In addition to the three level winners (Dunn, Black, and Muth), the other three finalists were Brittany Palazzo of
Mulberry Elementary; Keri Beth Tidmore Jones of Dacula Middle; and Lindsey Cafarella of Peachtree Ridge High.