Teacher and Douglas County Teacher of the Year Jaslyn Dukes was named one of ten finalists in the Georgia Teacher of the Year selection process in a March 1 Georgia Department of Education statement.
“Mrs. Dukes is an exciting, motivating and inspiring teacher who strongly believes in the teaching profession,” said Douglas County Superintendent Dr. Gordon Pritz in a press release from the school system. “She believes that passionate and strong teachers have the power to produce strong men and women. We are very proud of her state recognition as one of Georgia’s best teachers.”
In Dukes’ letter of reference for the Douglas County Teacher of the Year selection process, Stewart Middle School Principal Dewayne Jackson wrote, “Jaslyn Dukes accomplishes tasks with great initiative and with a positive attitude.” Her reference letter from a Stewart co-worker stated that “Mrs. Dukes is 100 percent committed to making a difference in the lives of students and in the world as a whole. Students want to perform well and work hard to make this teacher proud of them.” A former student wrote the following about Dukes, “This teacher makes learning fun. On the first day of class, I thought it was going to be the same old boring class, but it was not. She is the best reading teacher I have ever had. She is like a best friend to me and she makes me happy, even on my bad days. She is awesome!”
The 10 finalists were chosen from a pool of 150 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 our ten Georgia Teacher of the Year finalists and those who applied,” said Georgia Department of Education Superintendent John Barge in the press release. “We have always had a very impressive group of teachers make the top 10, and I know this year will be no different."
Over the next several weeks, a panel of judges will conduct video observations and interview each of the finalists. The finalists will also give a speech at a luncheon sponsored by Georgia Power in May. The winner will be announced at the Georgia Teacher of the Year banquet on June 1, at the Georgia International Convention Center. The banquet, paid for through donations from sponsors, will honor each local district Teacher of the Year. A reception hosted by United Healthcare will be held prior to the banquet.
The 2013 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.
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