The list is now a little shorter!

The 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year award contenders have been narrowed down to just 10 teachers. State Superintendent Richard Woods made the announcement Monday morning.

“The 10 2020 finalists for Georgia Teacher of the Year are an exceptional group of educators and I’m proud to call them my colleagues,” said 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.”

The finalists are selected from Georgia districts teacher of the year awards. A panel then picks finalists for the state honor based on essay responses. Former winners of Georgia Teacher of the Year participate in the judging.

The winner will be announced May 18th and spend the year traveling the state.

The full list is as follows:

  • 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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Jessica Szilagyi
Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."


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