During the last few months, schools and departments around the county have had an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of staff members recognized with national and state honors. Here are the latest kudos for employees who are exhibiting the Promise of Gwinnett in their schools and classrooms. Congratulations to you all!
- Leadership in Literacy: CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks is this year’s recipient of the Excellence in Literacy Leadership Award which recently was presented at the national conference sponsored by the Reading Recovery Council of North America. More than 12,000 students have had the opportunity to participate in Reading Recovery since the program was introduced in Gwinnett in 1994. Today, Reading Recovery is implemented in all 80 elementary schools.
- Excellence in Private Enterprise Education: Entrepreneurship Teacher Cindy Quinlan of Brookwood HS is in the news again. Ms. Quinlan was one of 12 U.S. educators honored at the Leavey Awards for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education. The honor comes with a $7,500 prize and ranks among the nation’s top honors for outstanding teachers, at every educational level, who create and conduct programs in entrepreneurship.
- Southeastern Secondary Art Educator of the Year: Another newsmaker, Debi West of North Gwinnett HS, is recognized by her peers again, this time as the 2017 regional level winner for the National Art Education Association. Ms. West previously was honored in state competition. She will accept her award at the national conference on March 2.
- Georgia Principal of the Year: Dr. Tommy Welch of Meadowcreek HS is Georgia’s 2018 Principal of the Year, the state’s highest honor for school leaders. This recognition program is sponsored by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals (GASSP). Dr. Welch will represent the state in national competition. Check out Dr. Welch's honor in this video. Earlier this year, Hunter McRae of North Gwinnett MS was honored by GASSP as a finalist for Georgia Assistant Principal of the Year.
- Innovation in Teaching: Cheri Nations, an 8th grade Physical Science teacher at North Gwinnett MS, was one of three state winners in the 2016-17 Innovation in Teaching Competition sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. Ms. Nations was recognized for her project-based learning unit in which students learn concepts of energy transformation and the relationships between force, mass and motion by engineering a roller coaster. She will receive a $3,000 stipend, a $4,000 school grant, and Georgia Public Broadcasting will film her teaching the unit.
- Support for Music: Wanda Law, principal of North Gwinnett MS, is this year’s recipient of the Georgia Music Educators Association Administrative Leadership Award. Mrs. Law was nominated by the music staff at her school for her unwavering support of Band, Chorus, Guitar, Orchestra, Musical Theatre, and Music Technology.
- Tops in Water Education: Jeannie Lanio of Lanier HS will be honored on March 4 as the 2017 Georgia Project WET Educator of the Year! Ms. Lanio teaches AP Environmental Science and Biology and serves as the school’s Environmental Club sponsor. Ms. Lanio’s students take part in hands-on environmental science— collecting water samples in a nearby stream, burying trash to watch decomposition rates, and working in the school garden, planting bulbs and conducting succession studies. Georgia Project WET promotes awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources through classroom-ready teaching materials and educator workshops.
Spring offers us lots of opportunities to brag, so watch for more news on award-winning staff members!