During what she describes as a "Beaver Cleaver" childhood, Trisha Connor credits her family with teaching and modeling that people should do everything in their power to leave the world a better place than they found it. Her upbringing and a "joy in serving" children led Mrs. Connor to a teaching career and paved the way for her selection as the 2016 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year.
At the Nov. 10 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year (TOTY) banquet, Mrs. Connor, a STEM teacher at Harbins Elementary School, was named GCPS' top teacher as well as the Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Science Teacher Jennifer W. Sevier of Dacula Middle School is this year’s Middle School Teacher of the Year. Alix McHardy, who teaches Chemistry, AP Chemistry, and Biology at Norcross High School, is the system’s TOTY at the high-school level.
The annual event is an opportunity to honor all of the county's 134 local school TOTYs who were chosen as representatives by their peers. This year, 134 local TOTYs were recognized during the festivities. The other three Teacher of the Year finalists were Teachers Janelle Draper of White Oak Elementary School, Felisha Strong of Richards Middle School, and Emily Heend of Phoenix High School. The six finalists were chosen from among 25 semifinalists.
Mrs. Connor will represent GCPS in the state-level Teacher of the Year competition.
In this Focus Moment from GCPS TV, catch some highlights from the recent Teacher of the Year banquet.