Toss Some Confetti in the Air!
I have said before (and I will say again and again and again), the grantees of the Teach On Project are some of the most engaging and impactful educators in Metro Atlanta. Pictured above is our 2019 cohort: six outstanding teachers and school leaders ready to turn their project ideas into reality, ready to fill an identified gap in their students' lives.
Upon winning, these six superstars joined our alumni group affectionately known as the Teacher Leader Collective (TLC). It is amazing to see the TLC members continue to grow and expand their influence year after year. In only the last few months, we have cheered as we watched Soo Son (2017) advance to an Assistant Principal role at Rock Springs Elementary in Gwinnett County, Dr. Katherine Kelbaugh (2015) rise to become the Executive Director of The Museum School, Peter McKnight (2012) named the Head of School at Charles R. Drew Charter School, and Tracey Pendley (2018) become the 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year.
Recently Tracey was able to share with us how her experience with the Teach On Project positively impacted her professional development, her students' growth, and her path towards becoming the 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year. A quote from Tracey:
"The Teach On Project’s rigorous application process, from essays and interviews, was an invaluable learning experience that prepared me for future award processes. Additionally, the prestige of winning the TOP Award for Excellence in Education amplified and legitimized my advocacy for teacher empowerment, educational equity, and excellence for all students. As the Georgia Teacher of the Year, I am now traveling the state as an ambassador for teachers and public education. I get to share my story and celebrate students and the hard work that educators do every week. Serving in this role is an incredible honor, and an experience that is challenging me to learn and grow in important ways."
Click here to read more about Tracey's thoughts on the impact of TOP.
Soo, Katherine, Peter and Tracey are examples of educators who chose to move into new positions. We also celebrate the TLC members that choose to perfect the position they have loved for years, and from that platform take additional leadership roles within their school or community groups. In all of these ways, TLC members are influencing countless students, ensuring that the future of Metro Atlanta is better and brighter.
We are excited to welcome new members to our fantastic family! If you know of an amazing teacher or school leader, please nominate them for the 2020 TOP Award for Excellence in Education by clicking here. The nomination window closes September 30th. We can't wait to celebrate and support more excellent educators from our Metro Atlanta public schools!
Have a wonderful year, everyone!
Kori Sanchez Smith
TOP Executive Director