A Rome City School teacher has been named as one of ten finalist for the 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year. Gary Allen Jones, II, a gifted teacher at East Central Elementary was picked from a pool of 151 applicants who were selected as the Teacher of the Year in their school districts. The applications were read by a panel of judges that included teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners and finalists, administrators, community leaders and others. The finalists were chosen based on the strength of their essay responses.

`I congratulate these 10 finalists for 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year,` said Superintendent Woods. `I’m looking forward to working with this extraordinary group of teachers to ensure our policies are child-focused and classroom-centered.`

Over the next several weeks, a panel of judges will conduct video observations and interview each of the finalists. This week, finalists will also give a speech at a luncheon sponsored by Georgia Power. The winner will be announced at the Georgia Teacher of the Year conference during the luncheon on May 8, 2015, in the Floyd Room at the James H. “Sloppy” Floyd Veterans Memorial Building. The conference, which is paid for through donations from sponsors, will honor each local district Teacher of the Year.

The 2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year will travel around the state and the nation, serving as an ambassador for the teaching profession. The winner will also be entered in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

The 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Amanda Miliner, a fourth grade teacher, from Miller Elementary in Warner Robins.

    2016 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalists (in alphabetical order by district)

  • Brian David Butler, Science. Bibb County, Rutland High
  • Patrick Logan, First Grade. Buford City, Buford Elementary
  • Alexandra Vlachakis, Information Technology. Fayette County, Sandy Creek High
  • John Wood, Art. Henry County, Luella High
  • Holly Canup, Media Resource Specialist/Online Instructor. Jackson County, East Jackson Comprehensive High
  • Brian Patrick, English/Literature. Jasper County, Jasper County High
  • Kimberly Lester, Writing/Language Arts. Muscogee County, St. Elmo Center for the Gifted
  • Gary Allen Jones, II, Gifted. Rome City, East Central Elementary
  • Ernest William Lee II, IB History, US Government and Civics. Savannah-Chatham County, Winsor Forest High
  • Blair Inabinet, Georgia Studies. Walton County, Youth Middle