Carol Williams, a math teacher at Summerour Middle in Norcross, and Stacey Dunlap, a media specialist at Simpson Elementary in Peachtree Corners, are among the six finalists.
The other four finalists are:
- Heather Watkins, a first-grade teacher at Mulberry Elementary
- Lissette McRea, a language arts teacher at Berkmar Middle
- Ashley Allgood, a Latin teacher at Brookwood High
- Hyunjin Son, an engineering teacher at Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
The Teacher of the Year announcement will be made at a banquet on Nov. 7, at the Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.
All 130 local school Teachers of the Year will be recognized during that time.
Learn more about the Norcross finalists:
Carol Williams is a firm believer that all students can learn math in spite of their previous academic performance. She explains, "Many students dislike mathematics and have negative attitudes about the subject due to past experiences. Since I can relate to the students’ experiences because it was not always easy for me to understand the subject, I love to share my story… inspiring them that it is possible to do well in anything you put your mind to and encouraging them to ask for help when they don’t understand."
Ms. Williams entered the teaching profession in 2000, teaching from 2000 until 2004 in districts in Louisiana. She joined GCPS in 2004 as a math teacher at Lilburn Middle. In 2008, she transferred her teaching talents to Summerour Middle where she now teaches sixth grade accelerated mathematics.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University, and holds both master’s and specialist’s degrees from Louisiana State University.
Stacey Dunlap says that her teaching philosophy continues to evolve as she gains new experiences and takes advantage of professional learning opportunities. However, she says her ultimate goal as a media specialist/teacher is to teach students and teachers to become thinkers.
She explains, "In order to stimulate this meta-cognition, I am a proponent of inquiry-based learning. I provide many opportunities for students and teachers to solidify their problem-solving processes by posing thought-provoking questions and scenarios… I encourage the sharing of thinking processes and problem-solving techniques to encourage and stimulate lifelong learning."
Mrs. Dunlap supports the students and teachers at Simpson Elementary as the school’s media specialist, a position she has held since 2012. Prior to becoming the school’s media specialist she was a third grade teacher at the school (2008-12). Her teaching experience also includes work outside the district at Thomas Crossroads Elementary and Elm Street Elementary.
Mrs. Dunlap received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Auburn University, and her master’s degree from Loyola University.