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TOTY Race is on! Gwinnett selects semifinalists for district’s top honor

The field of teachers vying to become the 2019-2020 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year just got smaller as Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) announced the names of the 25 semifinalists to be considered for the system’s top honor. The group of 15 elementary, five middle, and five high school teachers was selected from the initial list of 139 local school Teachers of the Year who were nominated by their colleagues at their local schools. The 2019-20 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year will be announced in November at the annual Teacher of the Year banquet.

This year’s Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year semifinalists are:


  • Vivarine Argilagos of Lovin ES—  1st Grade Teacher
  • Alice Carscaddon of Burnette ES—  Art Teacher (Grades K-5)
  • Kelsey Case of Chattahoochee ES—  Special Education Teacher–Autism Spectrum Disorder (Level 1) (Grades 1 and 2)
  • Jamie Gowen of Winn Holt ES—  Gifted Education Teacher
    (Grades 1-5)
  • Matthew Green of Berkeley Lake ES—  Music Teacher (Grades K-5)
  • Ellen Hill of Dyer ES—  5th Grade Teacher
  • Colleen LaPerre of Brookwood ES—  Gifted, Advanced, and Accelerated Mathematics Teacher (Grades 5 and 6)
  • Christy Lueke of Patrick ES—  Music Teacher (Grades K-5)
  • LeTricia Parks of Meadowcreek ES—  3rd Grade Teacher
  • Abbey Quintero of McKendree ES—  3rd Grade Teacher
  • Carrie Rajek of Harbins ES—  Physical Education Teacher
    (Grades K-5)
  • Alyson Reilly of Craig ES—  English to Speakers of Other Languages Lead Teacher (Grades K-5)
  • Ashton Simpson of Walnut Grove ES—  4th Grade Teacher
  • Shemika Turner of Chesney ES—  4th Grade Teacher
  • Lori Tschan of Riverside ES—  Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher (Grade 4)

Middle School:

  • Anthony Dramis of Hull MS—  Mathematics Teacher (Grade 8)
  • Celisa Edwards of Dacula MS—  Mathematics and Science Teacher (Grade 7)
  • Gulannar Akhtar Rattani of Moore MS—   Algebra I Teacher–Gear Up for Graduation Program (Grade 8)
  • Kelly Sloan of Osborne MS—  Social Studies Teacher (Grade 8)
  • Brad Zickefoose of Radloff MS— Accelerated and Gifted Earth Science Teacher (Grade 6)

High School:

  • Rebecca Carlisle of North Gwinnett HS—  AP World History Teacher
    (Grade 10)
  • Michelle Green of Grayson HS—  Chorus Teacher (Grades 9-12)
  • Lee Newman of Norcross HS—  Band Teacher (Grades 9-12)
  • Dr. Amber Simmons of Brookwood HS—  Language Arts Teacher (Grade 11)
  • Elizabeth Summerlin of Mill Creek HS—  AP U.S. History Teacher (Grade 11)

Gwinnett County Public Schools’ 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year banquet will be held Thursday, November 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Infinite Energy Forum.

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