Three GCPS educators got a big surprise and a big check this week. Surprise visits from the Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education (AFAEE) honored Beaver Ridge ES Principal Karen Lillard; Alix McHardy who teaches chemistry and biology at Norcross HS; and Tisha Williamson, a Starling ES 2nd grade teacher. Each teacher and school leader winner was awarded $7,500 that includes funding for a school project of the winner’s choice ($3,500), funding for a professional development opportunity to increase the winner’s effectiveness in the school or classroom ($1,500), and a personal stipend ($2,500). The annual awards are designed to elevate public education by identifying excellent educators and empowering them to expand their impact. This is the second year that Gwinnett educators have been eligible for the awards program. Nominations for the 2017 awards are now open!