The wait is over. The 10 finalists for 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year have been announced.

The finalists were chosen from a pool of applicants all 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, administrators and community leaders.

As one might expect from a group of educators, the finalists were chosen based on the strength of their essay responses.

“The ten 2020 finalists for Georgia Teacher of the Year are an exceptional group of educators and I’m proud to call them my colleagues,” said State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “Each one of them exemplifies what a teacher should be – caring, skilled, knowledgeable and intellectually curious, and first and foremost, laser-focused on the well-being, potential and success of their students.”

Finalists will meet with a panel of judges for a formal interview and give speeches during a finalist luncheon Monday. The winner will be announced Saturday, May 18.

The 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year will travel around the state and the nation, serving as an ambassador for the teaching profession in Georgia. The winner will also be entered in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

The 2019 Georgia Teacher of the Year is Allison Townsend, a third-grade teacher at Barnwell Elementary School in Alpharetta.

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

Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists*

Kristen Applebee, Georgia Academy for the Blind, State Schools

Amy Arnold, Colham Ferry Elementary School, Oconee County Schools

Dr. David Bishop Collins, Fernbank Science Center, DeKalb County Schools

Carlos Hernandez, General Ray Davis Middle School, Rockdale County Schools

Lewis Kelly, Newton High School, Newton County Schools

Tracey Nance Pendley, Burgess Peterson Academy, Atlanta Public Schools

Stephanie Peterson, Westside Elementary School, Lowndes County Schools

Kiana Pinckney, Palmetto Elementary School, Fulton County Schools

Teresa Thompson, South Tattnall Middle School, Tattnall County Schools

Francisco “Frank” Zamora, Johnson High School, Hall County Schools

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