School system honors finalists for Troup County teacher of the year
LaGRANGE — The three finalists for the Troup County School System teacher of the year designation have been selected and each received the surprise announcement Wednesday.
Jill Gay, a second grade teacher at Hollis Hand Elementary School, was chosen as elementary teacher of the year.
Sara Sands, an eighth grade language arts teacher at Long Cane Middle School, was chosen as middle school teacher of the year.
Laura Lee Pike, a 10–12th grade teacher of world literature, British literature, AP literature and AP language arts at THINC academy, was chosen as high school teacher of the year.
Troup County schools Superintendent Cole Pugh, bouquet of flowers in hand and balloon with ‘It’s Your Day’ written on it, surprised the three teachers in their classrooms Wednesday morning as he announced they were finalists.
“Today is one of the days I enjoy the most about being superintendent of schools because we are announcing the three finalists for teacher of the year,” Pugh told students in each classroom. “Out of over 700 teachers, we were able to narrow it down to the top three, and one of them is your teacher, so that is a big honor.”
The competition started with 25 nominees who submitted a six page application packet that included their resumes. Applications were anonymously read by school leaders, business leaders and partners in education board members. Officials then calculated the top three scores for each division – elementary, middle and high schools – to determine the finalists.
Next, the finalists will participate in a classroom observation and application process conducted by three judges with a background in education. From the judge’s evaluations and final scores, one system winner will be announced March 16 at the annual Teacher of the Year reception.
The winner will advance to the state Teacher of the Year competition in Atlanta.