This morning, Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods announced the top 10 finalists for the 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year. 

Finalists were selected from a pool of applicants who were named their district’s Teacher of the Year. A panel of judges including teachers, administrators, community leaders, and past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners read through the applications and determined this year’s 10 top finalists. 

“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.”

The winner will be announced Saturday, May 18, during a special luncheon honoring the finalists. 

The 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year winner will serve as an ambassador for Georgia teachers as they travel around the state and country during the next school year. The winner will also be in the running for 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 Fulton County. 

2020 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

From all of us at Georgia Public Broadcasting, we congratulate these truly outstanding teachers!

To learn more about the Georgia Teacher of the Year program, click here.